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‘It’s a proud day to be an Indigenous player’

Hawthorn champion Shaun Burgoyne has welcomed the AFL Players’ Association’s 2015-2017 Reconciliation Action Plan, describing the launch of the new RAP as “a proud day to be an indigenous player”.

“It’s great to see the AFLPA launch their second RAP today. It shows the commitment they are making in the Aboriginal community,” Burgoyne told

“It just shows they know there is a lot of work to be done yet and they are willing to help and work hard with the players and community to further benefit players and the community.

“There is a lot of hard work to be done but with the backing of the PA, the players’ support, and getting the player agents on board, it shows there is a number of people willing to help.”

The two-year strategy has been formally upgraded by Reconciliation Australia to Stretch RAP status, demonstrating the organisation’s strong foundations in this space and a capability to implement longer-term strategies and work towards defined targets and goals.

Presented to industry stakeholders at the AFLPA Accredited Agent Conference and Player Development Manager Forum at Etihad Stadium, the RAP highlights the key achievements of the 2014 RAP and specifies the actions that will be taken on three key focus areas – respect, relationships and opportunities – over the next two years.

Adam Goodes, chair of the Indigenous Advisory Board, said the AFL Players’ Association had a crucial role in “closing the gap”.

“By further developing the RAP, the PA is sending a strong message to the football industry and broader community that we can all be a part of reconciliation in Australia,” Goodes said.

“And on the other side, we hope that by creating an inclusive workplace, game and society for players throughout their careers, they are enabled to grow and develop, so that when they go back into their communities they can continue with the message of reconciliation.”

Click here to see the 2015-17 AFL Players’ Reconciliation Action Plan