Football Australia today have announced their first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), setting out a long term framework which is able to demonstrate the long-term commitment to strengthening relationships with Indigenous Australians.
This first Reflect RAP has been developed in conjunction with the National Indigenous Advisory Group (NIAG), internal and external stakeholders as well as the Football Australia RAP Working Group.
Former Socceroo, Brisbane Roar legend and Co-chair of the NIAG expressed elation at the sport taking the next steps towards reconciliation goals.
“I am greatly encouraged by the decisive action Football Australia is taking towards meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous people,” North said.
“There are countless individuals and organisations who have commenced this work long before the national body and I wish to acknowledge this work as it has contributed to bring and keep our mob in the game. “
“Now as Australian football are bringing full focus into this work, this action plan is just the first step of many to connect to community and embed equity into the delivery and function of football more broadly.”
“Whilst foundational at a Reflect stage, this strategy will be key in guiding the organisation to progress strongly and confidently under the leadership of the National Indigenous Advisory Group and more members of the community as the journey progresses.”
“Football Australia is incredibly proud to be launching our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.
“As Australia’s largest club-based participation sport, with two million participants and over 200 different cultures, Australian football understands and welcomes the integral role we can play in our nation’s reconciliation journey.
“Through the process of developing this Reflect RAP, we have had an opportunity to reflect on the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to our game and Australian society more broadly.
“We are going beyond reflection alone and have pledged to undertake measurable tasks that directly and indirectly contribute positively to address disparities between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.”
“As with the XI Principles, this RAP will be embedded into the core of our sport and business to ensure the recognition, cultural safety and advancement of the participation of First Nations people in football.”
NIAG member and Football Australia’s Engagement Lead, Courtney Hagen, added:
“Our sport has taken some essential initial steps in celebrating First Nations people’s important role in Australia’s past, present and future. We have a responsibility to be a voice that echoes generational change and, through our deeds, builds a substantive two-way relationship with Indigenous peoples.”
“Pursuing opportunities and creating initiatives that are aligned with Indigenous priorities and interests is pivotal and should be one that evolves in line with First Nations peoples.”
The key commitments of action in the Reflect RAP include: relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and
· Building internal capacity for decision making through community-centred guidance from Football Australia’s National Indigenous Advisory Group
· Establish and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations.
· Implementing best practice strategies to showcase First Nations Football Community and the pioneers of the game.
· Implement strategies that increase understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning. across Football Australia and supporting personnel.
· Creating and implementing strategies to improve employment outcomes by increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development.
· Increase more opportunities for Indigenous procurement and partnerships.