The AFL Players’ Association is proud to have officially launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Presented to industry stakeholders at the AFL Players ’14 season launch, Indigenous Advisory Board (IAB) Chairman Adam Goodes endorsed the first ever RAP of the Players’ Association.
“I’d like to thank the ‘PA and those who were part of creating the RAP; for those guys to sit down and look at us as an organisation and say how can we get the message out there about reconciliation in our work place, is a big part of reconciliation for me, it is the acknowledgement and the welcome”, Goodes said.
“That’s a big part of the RAP – it is that acknowledgement, that respect and those relationships. For me that’s the biggest thing in the RAP that I’m most proud about – to have that part of our everyday workplace. Hopefully as industry leaders we’ll get it across everywhere else.”
In 2013 during NAIDOC week, the Indigenous Advisory Board in conjunction with the AFL Players’ Association launched a document titled Many Stories, One Goal, built from the stories and experiences of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player in the game, along with key stakeholders within the industry.
The policy is built around four key pillars;
-Personal Support and;
These areas are identified as vital to developing an environment that best supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander footballers throughout every stage of their playing career and beyond.
The inspiration for the guidelines came from the AFL Players’ Indigenous Camp held in Alice Springs in 2013, with players intent on achieving consistency in conditions across the competition for Indigenous players.
General Manager of Player Development, Brett Johnson said, “AFL footy is a fantastic vehicle for reconciliation and through the likes of Nicky Winmar, Michael Long and now Adam Goodes, who have displayed fantastic courage and leadership, they’re able to extend this message of reconciliation to the broader society.”
“Through our Player Development programs, one of our aims is to create an inclusive workplace, game and society by creating an environment for players throughout their careers that enables them to grow and develop, so that when they go back into their communities they can continue with the message of reconciliation,” Johnson said.
Speaking at Tuesday night’s AFL Players ’14 Season Launch, Goodes said his ability to bring about change is what he is most proud of in his career.
“That’s the biggest thing that I’ve been so proud of in my career so far – how much we’ve been able to do. Most of the people are in this room tonight for the ‘PA, for the players, for the game and I think that’s the best thing that I’ve enjoyed in my career, being able to do things outside of footy – for the better of it.”
Through the work with the Indigenous Advisory Board and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, the Players’ Association felt the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan was required to form part of its core business.
There is a commitment from the ‘PA Board, players and staff to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past, present and future continue to be supported through the actions of our RAP in order to achieve the organisation’s vision.
“That’s what this RAP is about, it symbolises how important we see this space. It is about changing this space. We want to be more inclusive, we want to start breaking down those barriers, which is really important. As an Aboriginal person, it’s important for these younger kids coming through to know that we have stuff like this, which is going to be heavily reported on as well,” Goodes said.
The current Indigenous Board members are:
-Adam Goodes – Chairman