*WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following article contains links to images of deceased persons.
Building from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, where the event had a first-ever Reconciliation Action Plan for a multi-sport Games, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) is committed to the development and implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the organisation.
Commonwealth Games Australia has appointed Karen Milward Consulting to lead the development of the plan with work to commence this month.
Karen Milward Consulting has extensive experience in the development of Reconciliation Action Plans for sporting organisations, including Athletics Australia, Netball Australia and VicSport, in addition to councils, government and other commercial and not-for-profit organisations.
Karen is Yorta Yorta woman who was born and raised in Melbourne and has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for over 20 years.
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips said the Reconciliation Action Plan is an important component of the CGA’s strategic priority of ‘Connecting with Communities’.
“Commonwealth Games Australia was an active participant in the development of the Gold Coast 2018 RAP and we carried the ‘Unity’ design element of that program on our team uniforms on the Gold Coast,” Phillips said.
“CGA’s is committed to recognising our Indigenous athletes, increasing our awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language, culture and histories, and connecting with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Our aim is to embed the recognition and inclusion of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history in our organisation and our plans, not just for our team in Birmingham but in our daily actions.”
“We have a strong and proud history of athletes from both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, back to Percy Hobson (athletics) and Jeffrey ‘Mitta’ Dynevor (boxing) who won gold medals in Perth in 1962 and this continued on the Gold Coast.”
The Legacy and Unity design which featured on Team Australia uniforms at the Gold Coast 2018 Games, designed by Jenna Lee, a proud Larrakia woman.
The Gold Coast 2018 team had eight athletes who identified as either Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander – Beki Smith and Benn Harradine – athletics; Taliqua Clancy – beach volleyball; Clay Waterman – boxing; Brooke Peris – hockey; John Porch and Maurice Longbottom – rugby 7’s; and Brandon Wakeling – weightlifting, and three team officials – Junior Viranatuleo – basketball; Jarred Hodges – rugby 7’s and Laura Macintosh – headquarters.
CGA has received support funding for the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan from the Commonwealth Sport Foundation – via its Game Changers Grants.
Commonwealth Games Australia will shortly call for expressions of interest from our Alumni (athletes and team officials) to join the Reconciliation Action Plan working group that will help develop the final plan.
In the interim, If you are a member of the Commonwealth Games Alumni (past athlete or team official) and would like to express your interest in joining our RAP working group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“We are focused on ensuring that our Reconciliation Action Plan is engrained within our Commonwealth Games Australia values and that activities and strategies are in place in the lead up to and during the Birmingham 2022 Games,” Phillips concluded.