Role models


Stacey Porter

Stacey has been demonstrating her skills on the diamond since 1997 when she first represented NSW. She has been a member of the AIS Softball squad since 2002.

At 20 years of age, Stacey became the first female Indigenous Australian to represent her country in the Olympic Softball competition. As a member of the Open Women’s team, Stacey won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In 2006, Stacey also won bronze in her first ISF Open Women’s World Championship with the Australian team.

In 2010, Stacey captained the Australian Open Women’s team, the Aussie Spirit, in their ISF World Championship campaign and in 2012 captained the NSW Firestars to win the Australian Open Women’s Championship, Gilley’s Shield.

Stacey is an exceptionally strong player and is arguably the best batter in the world. When Stacey is not playing professional softball in Japan, she resides in Brisbane and promotes community awareness and recognition of the sport.

‘As one of the indigenous role models for Softball Australia I’d like to acknowledge the work our sport is doing in our communities. I attended the first indigenous versus NRL rugby league game in 2010, I was so proud of the powerful sense of community and togetherness the indigenous people brought to the game and this is exactly what we can bring to Softball Australia. This is a great relationship that I did not have the opportunity to grow from when I was a young athlete. With ‘sport’ as our common bond, I’d like to encourage the development between the Australian government, Softball Australia, our sponsors and the indigenous communities’, Stacey Porter, Aussie Spirit Captain.

Stacey has received several awards for her outstanding achievements:

stacey porter

  • 1997-1998 Best Batter In the Australian U16 Championship, Esther Deason Shield
  • 1999-2000 Best Batter in the Australian U19 Championship, Elinor McKenzie Shield
  • 2001 Most Valuable Player in the Australian U19 Championship, Elinor McKenzie Shield
  • 2005 Female Sportsperson of the Year, Deadly Awards
  • 2005 Female Softballer of the Year, Softball Australia Awards of Excellence
  • 2005 and 2010 Best Batter in the Australian Open Women’s Championship, Gilley’s Shield
  • 2008 Sportsperson of the Year, National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee
  • 2008-2010 Most Valuable Player, Gilley’s Shield
  • 2008, 2010-2011 Softball Australia’s Indigenous Athlete of the Year


Jeff Goolagong

Jeff is a two-time World Championship player from the ACT. He was a member of the ACT Team that won the 2001, 2003, 2006-2009 and 2012 John Reid Shield, Australian Open Men’s Championship. In 2012, Jeff was awarded Best Player in the John Reid Shield Grand Final. He was also a member of the winning team at the 2006 International Softball Congress Tournament and was selected in the All World Second Team as an outfielder.

In 2008, Jeff played in a number of high-level club competitions, including the ISC World Tournament and was a member of the Australian team that defeated New Zealand to win the Pacific International Series.

In 2009, Jeff played a vital role in ACT’s win at the Australian Open Men’s Championship, where he was awarded the Most Valuable Player for the tournament.

The pinnacle of Jeff’s career came at the 2009 XII ISF Men’s World Championship when the Aussie Steelers were crowned World Champions.


‘Playing Softball has given me so many exciting opportunities. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world representing Australia and play in North American and New Zealand softball leagues. I have played alongside some of the best softball players and met many great people, many of whom are life-long friends. I’d like to thank Softball Australia for developing the Indigenous Sport Program. Through this program indigenous people of all ages are given the same opportunities I have been given to participate in Softball’, Jeff Goolagong Aussie Steelers player.

Vanessa Stokes

Alice Springs born, Vanessa Stokes is an extremely talented pitcher who made her international debut for the Australian Open Women’s team, Aussie Spirit, in March 2012 competing in the InternationVanessa_Stokes_Pitch1al Test Series against Japan in Canberra.

Following a successful debut, Vanessa’s hard work and dedication earned her a spot representing the Aussie Spirit in the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Championship held in Canada in July 2012, and was a fantastic contributor in the team’s bronze medal winning performance.

Vanessa, started playing softball as a 4 year old, encouraged by her mother who also played competitive sport, representing her State in national competitions in softball and soccer. Vanessa moved to South Australia where she attended Gepps Cross Girls High School. She started playing for Port Adelaide before joining the Glenelg Rebels. Vanessa is also a member of the SA Stars who compete in the Australian Open Women’s Championship, Gilley’s Shield.

When she is not playing softball, Vanessa works as a Youth Mentor in Alice Springs and is an extremely passionate role model for Indigenous Australians. ‘As a Softball Australia indigenous softball role model, my aim is to inspire and encourage Indigenous Australians to participate in healthy activities, stay in school, gain employment and strive to achieve their dreams and ambitions.’