Netball Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group recently met in Brisbane to discuss both national and State-based initiatives to improve, develop and support the growth of Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities in netball.
Following the launch of the Innovate RAP in November 2015, and with the support of State and Territory Member Organisations, progress towards RAP initiatives were discussed in detail at the meeting, which lasted two days and was held at Netball Queensland’s office in Moorooka.
“It’s pleasing to see progress towards our RAP deliverables on a number of fronts, but we still have a long way to go,” RAP Working Group Chairwoman Karen Milward said.
“There are a number of fantastic activities taking place across the country, so we have a great opportunity to showcase those initiatives to the rest of the netball community.
“It’s important that everyone at all levels of the netball community recognise that they can play their part in contributing to our RAP.”
Netball Australia’s RAP consists of actions which are split into four key areas: Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Tracking Progress. Each area consists of numerous actions requiring the collaboration of netball communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, at all levels.
RAP initiatives delivered to date include – but are not limited to – the mapping of existing programs, partnerships and case studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community netball activities, the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocol for Netball and a literature review of all existing research relating to Indigenous female participation in sport, both within Australia and internationally.
Observances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture were also incorporated into various elements of the 2015 Netball World Cup, 2015 Test Series and the upcoming ANZ Championship season, as a result of RAP Working Group guidance and contribution.
The meeting marked the first occasion that the RAP Working Group had been hosted at a State Netball Association with Netball Queensland Executive and staff members taking part in various discussions during the meeting.
With a rotating position on the RAP Working Group made available at each meeting for State and Territory Association representation, the meeting provided a valuable opportunity for Netball Queensland staff to brainstorm their own plans and strategies for improved engagement of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Netball Queensland’s General Manager of Community and Sport Development, Leigh Gibbs said it was very beneficial to host the RAP Working Group meeting.
“By being involved in the meeting, we have gained a better understanding of the vision of the group, how we can align our initiatives and play a part in improving, developing and supporting the growth of Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities in netball,” Gibbs said.
RAP Working Group Members will work with their local State/Territory Netball Associations in coming months to provide assistance and support on RAP initiatives in their areas and will reconvene around National Reconciliation Week being held from Friday 27 May to Friday 3 June.