My name is Mark Ella and I come from La Perouse, Sydney, although I haven’t lived in the area for the last 20 years. I am one of 12 children and grew up in an Indigenous community which prided itself on its sporting culture, and which is still going strong today.
For most of my life I have worked in sport (as an ex-Wallabies player), sports promotions and marketing and sports media. I am currently the executive producer of sport at NITV (part of SBS) which I enjoy greatly.
I hope to talk to tweeters about Australian sport, any relevant issues in sports today, and my opinions about elite sports compared to my days as an amateur. Whether in my opinion, sport is better now or better back then in the black and white era with an obvious focus on rugby which is trying to climb out of it doldrums. Whether Kurtley Beale is the Wallabies answer to future success or not and how in a general sense, many mainstream Australian sports rely on Indigenous athletes to bring excitement to their games.
My role models growing up were my uncle Bruce Lapa Stewart who played rugby league for South Sydney, and then the Roosters. I remember watching him pick the football off a muddy paddock at the Sydney Cricket Ground from half way to run fifty metres to score and sensational try. He, along with Artie Beetson and Eric Simms, who was also from Lapa, dominated the NRL in the early days, giving inspiration to me and my six brothers, five sisters and a throng of passionate league supporters from Redfern to La Perouse .
I am passionate about Indigenous athletes, boys and girls, men and women fulfil the promises that they are born with and through sport give themselves and the communities every opportunity to be successful and live their dreams.
My greatest hope for the future is a world of equality where our diversity is celebrated and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised in all facets of life. Although there have been many celebrated Indigenous sports stars, after many years, we are still being subject to racism. I would love to see these barriers being broken down on and off the field, so that the colour of your skin and your culture is not an issue and the focus remains on your sporting talent.