Wally the Wallaby
The story of Wally starts in a remote part of the Australian outback. As a youngster, playing with all the other joeys, Wally always felt he was a little bit different.
He was born with a slightly smaller, stumpy tail, which allowed him to vertically jump a bit higher, side step around the other joeys with ease and even do diving tackles. He loved playing sport with his friends, dressed in the yellow t-shirt and green shorts his mum gave him. He had a passion for the competition and solidarity that the boisterous wallaby games provided, but he also had great respect for all his friends, and he was always the first to offer a helping hand (sorry paw) to any of them that may have taken a tumble. The older does and bucks always explained that discipline and integrity were the most important traits required to be a great leader of the mob and Wally embraced the learning’s from his elders whenever he could. He would sit and listen to the all the stories of the past wallabies and respect their history.
He was quite the character within his mob with his larrikin sense of fun. Whenever the other wallabies old and young would see him they would greet him with a special symbol with their paws. Placing both paws together, they would form the letter W and say ‘How you going Wally’.
But like all young Aussies, Wally had a desire to travel, and after talking with his family and friends, he packed his bags one day and headed east, saying farewell to the outback and hello to the big city. He wanted to find new friends and inspire a whole new community with the values he had been brought up with of Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and Respect.
While he was hoping through the streets of Sydney, amazed at all the new sensory delights, he heard a bellowing chant, “Go Wallabies”. ‘Are they saying hello to me’ he thought. Thousands of people were cheering for a game being played between two great teams.
’Go Wallabies’ was deafening and Wally realised that the players wearing the gold jerseys and green shorts were actually called ’The Wallabies’. They ran, they tackled and they jumped...just like his mates back home and when the final whistle blew to signify the end of the game, these players called The Wallabies went and shook hands with the players in black, they laughed and chatted and had obvious respect for these men they had played against.
‘What a wonderful game, what is it?’, Wally asked no one in particular. One of the players heading towards Wally stopped, he looked like the youngest guy on the team. “This is Rugby Union little mate, the greatest sport of all...” “I love it”, replied Wally. The next day Wally signed up for a team close to where he was living, joining all the other boys and girls on the field. He immediately made new friends and it was soon obvious to his new team mates and coach that Wally possessed a great understanding and respect for the sport, and he could jump and side step and tackle. Wally had found his new passion!
Rugby Union lived by the same values as he did. He helps new players and teaches them the values of great sportsmanship, teamwork, passion and discipline. Sometimes scoring tries and always helping his team mates, he is easily recognisable with his stumpy tail, faux-hawk hair and bright nose. At the end of every match, win, lose or draw, he is the first to greet the opposition, have a chat, congratulate or commiserate. He never forgets the learning’s from his elders in the Wallaby community, always maintain integrity and respect. Wally is also the biggest Wallaby fan. He organises for his team mates and friends to watch all the matches and cheer the team on. He knows all the Wallaby players and always befriends the youngest in the squad.
He is invited on the overseas tours, and the rest of the team laugh whenever they tell the youngest team member he has to look after Wally. Usually however, it’s Wally, looking after the player, teaching him the values and the importance of being a Wallaby. The mateship required to ‘protect’ Wally against unforeseen pranks, which Wally often helps orchestrate, because he never gets tired of having a bit of fun. Wally reminds the players of the great responsibility they have to the nation and former players, the honour of wearing the gold jersey and uphold the great Australian tradition.
Always give your best, working hard, rise above adversary and respect your opposition.
You can’t miss Wally at a test match or at the Rugby Sevens cheering on the men and women who proudly represent our nation. He’s always on the sideline and is as passionate as they come. When the attack is on or the final whistle blows, he’s leading the fans in the chant ’Go Wallabies’ with the two-hand salute, thumbs together forming a ’W’. He represents the future of Rugby Australia, uniting and inspiring all of the nation.
He is Wally!