Peak organisations in Australian netball have pledged to take significant action to break down the barriers that have prevented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, coaches, umpires and administrators from reaching their full potential in the sport.
A coalition of netball’s peak organisations has pledged to take significant action to break down the barriers that have prevented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, coaches, umpires and administrators from flourishing in the sport.
In an historic move, 20 national, state and territory based and club bodies have signed a Declaration of Commitment which requires the entire netball system to understand and then resolve the issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander under-representation at elite levels.
Sparked by recent debate around Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous Round, but also building from the stories and experiences of former players and officials, the Declaration is netball’s first unified response to this critical issue.
The agreement is the result of intensive discussion in which key decision-makers turned the microscope on the system and also themselves. This delivered a series of reflections and insights including:
We acknowledge that netball hasn’t fully addressed the barriers that confront Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our system, and we apologise for this.
We know it is unacceptable to have only one Aboriginal player within the Suncorp Super Netball league, but our challenge as a sport goes far beyond what happened to one player in a single game.
We understand that strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation rates and talent within our grassroots and state and territory competitions are not translating into our elite pathway.
In June, Netball Australia made a public commitment to listen, learn and change by engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and hearing about their experiences within netball. This work continues.
In July, the independent State of the Game review, chaired by Liz Ellis AO, launched a root-and-branch assessment of Australian netball. This includes research into the structural and behavioural barriers that limit opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to reach their full potential in our sport.
Today, Netball Australia, Suncorp Super Netball, Member Organisations, SSN Clubs, the Australian Netball Players Association and the Confident Girls Foundation have committed to the change required in our pathways from grassroots to the Origin Diamonds – a change that will only be achieved in true partnership with netball’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM and Sharon Finnan-White OAM, along with Stacey Campton, and Ali Tucker-Munro have agreed to play a key leadership role in supporting netball to develop the strategy framework to deliver the promised change.
Netball’s Declaration of Commitment has many elements, but the early phases will focus on understanding further the experiences of players, coaches, umpires and administrators in our system, identifying the barriers to greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation and creating sustainable change plans.
Tracking and reporting of our successes and challenges on this journey will be a foundation of the strategy.
27th September 2020 – Agreement to see Super Netball players receive at least 90% of their full salaries
16th September 2020 – Brisbane’s Nissan Arena to host Super Netball Grand Final
29th August 2020 – Netball Australia selects Stacey Marinkovich as new Diamonds Head Coach
28th August 2020 – Super Netball commits to matches in Cairns and Townsville
15th August 2020 – Funding allows Knox Regional Netball Centre upgrades to be fast-tracked
24th July 2020 – Netball Tasmania launches 2020 season
19th July 2020 – Interstate teams to relocate to Queensland for Super Netball competition
2nd July 2020 – RAC Arena reopens with exhibition netball game in front of a crowd
30th June 2020 – Netball Australia looks to secure 2027 Netball World Cup for Sydney
18th June 2020 – Netball Australia to join National Redress Scheme
31st May 2020 – Suncorp Super Netball announces details for 2020 season start
15th May 2020 – Netball Australia releases guidelines for safe return to community netball
13th May 2020 – Suncorp Super Netball advises clubs of no team training until 31st May
1st September 2020 – Indigenous Affairs Advisor Leanne Brooke to Co-Chair NBL’s Reconciliation working group
29th May 2019 – ESSA launches Reconciliation Action Plan during National Reconciliation Week
7th November 2015 – Netball Australia launches inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan
29th May 2015 – Netball Australia commits to Reconciliation Action Plan
9th July 2012 – Sport unites during national reconciliation week
21st August 2020 – AFL will not use Aboriginal flag during Indigenous Round
21st July 2019 – Evonne Goolagong Cawley launches National Indigenous Tennis Carnival in Darwin
10th July 2018 – Sports Commission acknowledges Indigenous Australians’ contribution to sport
25th July 2016 – Basketball facility opens at Mutitjulu indigenous community in Northern Territory
17th February 2017 – Super Netball ready to build on growing interest in women’s sporting competitions
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