Since the creation of the One Netball program in late 2012, Netball Australia’s diversity and inclusion program has been guided by a group of passionate and inspiring leaders from across Australia’s multicultural and sporting sectors.
The One Netball Advisory Group brings new ideas, past experiences, lively discussion and challenging questions to Netball Australia’s Executive to inform the development of One Netball initiatives from the grassroots, to the national body.
The Group has convened on a regular basis since 2012 through the support of the Diversity and Social Cohesion programme of the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
The Group was first convened to inform Netball Australia of the needs and interests of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the delivery and development of netball.
It’s since evolved to include representation from across State and Territory Netball Associations as well as Netball Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group Chairwoman, Karen Milward.
Milward, a Yorta Yorta woman from Victoria, strongly advocates for the development of culturally appropriate solutions to the issues confronting Indigenous people, to empower individuals and communities so they can confidently and effectively move forward.
“I am really looking forward to working with the One Netball Advisory Group to see how we can work together and apply a more holistic approach to cultural diversity to increase awareness of the diverse needs and aspirations of Australia’s netball community,” Milward said.
“Being more culturally inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture within Netball Australia’s policies, initiatives and strategies will enable us all to truly celebrate cultural diversity.”
Carmel Guerra OAM, CEO of the Melbourne-based Centre for Multicultural Youth, is internationally recognised as an expert in working with young people from migrant and refugee background and was appointed to the Medal of the Order (OAM) General Division on Australia Day.
Guerra has long been an advocate of the power of sport in creating more connected, inclusive communities.
“I am pleased to be have been a member of the One Netball Advisory Committee since its inception. I have seen first-hand how netball can be such a powerful tool in building social cohesion amongst young people,” Guerra said.
Pino Migliorino, former Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia, CEO of Cultural Perspectives and self-confessed sporting tragic has played an active role in the Group, particularly in guiding the way in which Netball Australia communicates and connects multicultural communities.
“I have been involved in many consultative roles for a whole range of organisations and I believe Netball Australia through its One Netball program demonstrates the highest integrity and commitment for an organisation wanting to change to reflect and respond to Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity,” Migliorino said.
Dr Paul Oliver, an expert in issues of sports ethics and integrity, diversity and inclusion, communication and marketing, has also played a key role in shaping an educational program that enables netball Clubs and Associations to bring inclusion into focus in their local communities.
“Starting as hopes and aspirations to break down barriers and promote diversity, to formulating new strategies and plans, to developing cutting-edge resources and tools to make it happen in Clubs and Associations around the country – a lot has happened since One Netball took off in 2012,” Oliver said.
“It has been an honour to be part of Netball Australia’s journey towards creating a more inclusive sporting environment for its members. One Netball has evolved to be one of Australian sport’s premier community engagement and inclusion programs.”
Gail Ker OAM brings a wealth of experience as CEO of one of Australia’s most innovative and successful not-for-profit settlement and employment centres, ACCESS Community Services in Logan, Queensland. Also a netball fan, she believes that whilst the formation of an advisory group is important to guide inclusive strategy, turning recommendations into action is where change truly begins.
“What is so impressive about One Netball’s approach has been their genuine desire and capacity to actually listen, take on board, embrace and embed the One Netball Advisory Group’s advice into all areas of their business including organisational plans, strategies and future directions,” Ker said.
Like Guerra, Ker believed the organisational-wide commitment to One Netball has been its greatest strength.
“They have always aimed to honour this commitment at all levels throughout the sport, be they players, volunteers, coaches, umpires, teams, clubs or associations,” Ker said.
“To me this is what leadership from our national sporting codes should aspire to demonstrate and achieve. One Netball does this in spades.”
Visit the website to learn more about One Netball initiatives and to sign up to receive all the latest information about how to create more inclusive netball communities.