28 May 2019
Sport Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to reconciliation and CEO Kate Palmer is encouraging all sports to celebrate the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to Australian sport during National Reconciliation Week, May 27 to June 3.
National Reconciliation Week encourages all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and consider how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
Sport Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2020 commits to creating positive and lasting change to reduce inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
According to AusPlay data Indigenous Australians are less likely to participate in sport or physical activity than non-Indigenous Australians. Rates of Indigenous participation in sport and physical activity also decline more rapidly after the age of 11, compared to non-Indigenous children of the same age.
“Opportunity is critical, we know sport can assist in engaging Indigenous communities and improving their health and wellbeing,” Palmer said.
“Sport Australia commits to playing a lead role in promoting sport and physical recreation as a means to close the gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians.”
Sport Australia’s national Sporting Schools program provides additional funding to schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. To date, more than 4,800 schools have benefited, receiving an additional $500 payment on top of their Sporting Schools grant.
“Sport Australia has a resource Yulunga Traditional Indigenous Games which preserves and promotes more than 100 traditional Indigenous Australian games and activities. What a great way to celebrate Reconciliation Week to get active by playing some of these games in your school,” Palmer said.
Sport Australia has also developed and shared its own Acknowledgement of Country, inscribed on plaques in office meeting rooms.
Sport Australia Acknowledgement of Country
I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today and to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
I wish to also recognise the outstanding contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to sport in Australia and to celebrate the power of sport to promote reconciliation and reduce inequality.
This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme is Grounded in Truth - Walk Together with Courage with events planned across the country.
Note: The above research is from Sport Australia’s Indigenous Australians’ participation in sports and physical activities report.