Sportsview, Industry

Welcoming Aboriginal people to your sport


Vicsport recently launched brand new content on our website aimed at helping sporting organisations become more welcoming to Aboriginal people.

The content sheds light on how organisations can enhance their inclusion practices through changes in areas such as policy, leadership, participation, facilities and more.

Photo credit: AFL Victoria


The content has been developed in conjunction with VicHealth and is part of a broader legacy project following the completion of the State Sport Association Participation Program and Healthy Sport Environments Program in 2014.

The Vicsport Healthy and Welcoming Sport webpage is VicHealth and Vicsport’s shared commitment to providing best-practice resources for the community sport sector to continue to use into the future.

Information and resources are now available to sporting organisations that want to become more healthy and welcoming. The materials have been tried and tested and are informed by feedback and evaluation to ensure their relevance. They can be used by any sport and individual organisations can decide at what pace to use them.

Change doesn’t happen without leadership and commitment. If you want your sport or sporting organisation to become more inclusive and welcoming, then it’s vital that you find leaders who are committed to making a positive culture change happen.

One way to encourage greater participation in sport and active recreation is to ensure people have role models to inspire them by providing a relatable personal story. This is true for people of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds, and it is true for Aboriginal people.

While it might be easy to identify Aboriginal people who are visible in elite Australian sport, role models are just as important at the local level.

Sport organisations involved in the State Sport Association Participation Program found that Aboriginal people are more likely to take part in sporting activities in which other Aboriginal people already participate.

Some things to consider when using role models to encourage participation include:

  • Aim to promote a diverse range of Aboriginal people as role models, including all genders, people with a disability, older adults and people from LGBTIQ communities.
  • Find Aboriginal people within your sport or club and understand the positive influence they can have on recruitment of new participants.
  • Encourage Aboriginal people to take on leadership roles within your sport – as committee members, coaches, officials and event organisers – as this provides visible inspiration for potential participants and shows your sport to be a culturally safe and welcoming place to participate.
  • Be careful not to over burden people. Providing appropriate supports, remuneration and/or recognition is important.

Follow this link for more resources on what steps your sport can take to become more welcoming to Aboriginal people: Welcoming Aboriginals.



Jasmine Richwol

Communications and Marketying Manager, Vicsport

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