National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for learning, for sharing, and for celebrating the diversity of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ cultures, histories, achievements, and knowledge.
This year’s theme is More Than a Word: Reconciliation Takes Action.
The theme encourages us to reflect on our current contribution towards reconciliation, and how we can work towards righting the wrongs of the past, to effectively move forward.
Our organisations currently run several reconciliation initiatives, which focus on elevating Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples voices and addressing issues of inequality, including:
- The Australian Olympic Committee Indigenous Advisory Committee,
- The Sport Australia Barkly Region Project,
- Paralympics Australia’s Indigenous Uniform and Branding,
- The Australian Institute of Sport Share a Yarn Initiative,
- Commonwealth Games Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan Development, and
- Several partnerships, relationships, and programs driven within the National Institute Network.
While these initiatives are positive, we understand sport can play a more powerful role in the promotion of reconciliation and reduction of inequality in Australian society. We also recognise, in working collaboratively, sport can more meaningfully contribute to reconciliation.
As such, the sporting network including – the Australian Institute of Sport, Sport Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia, Commonwealth Games Australia, ACT Academy of Sport, NSW Institute of Sport, NT Institute of Sport, Queensland Academy of Sport, SA Sports Institute, Tasmanian Institute of Sport, Victorian Institute of Sport, WA Institute of Sport – have come together to unite sport and provide more substantive action on reconciliation moving forward.
We hope through this shared statement, we can:
- Embrace the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories knowledges, and experiences, so we can effectively move forward as a sporting community.
- Pay true respect to Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands and Waterways.
- Provide employment opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including current and past athletes across all sporting industries.
- Share learnings and resources relating to current and future initiatives.
- Support the continued development of Reconciliation Action Plans within this sporting network.
- Improve the procurement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander goods and services across the network.
- Create a more culturally aware, inclusive, and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across all areas of our operation and performance.
- Ensure our organisations are more reflective of the communities we represent.
This joint statement acts as our commitment. A commitment, that as organisations in sport, we will take further, braver, more substantiative action towards reconciliation, and that we will do this together, as a unified network for the benefit of all in sport, and Australian communities.
This statement has been developed in consultation with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Elders, Community Leaders, and Athletes.