While there are many things your organisation can do on your own, collaborating with local organisations such as Aboriginal co-operatives or community health services can be an effective way of gaining access to resources which will help you to build connections with Aboriginal people. This is especially beneficial if participation by Aboriginal people is not traditionally strong in your sport.
In some cases, government funding to enhance Aboriginal participation in sport may be directed through these organisations, rather than through state sport associations or clubs. Therefore, these organisations are working to enable greater participation in physical activity, making them a great option for a potential partnership.
Who to contact
- The Victorian
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (VACCHO) is the peak body for
the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in Victoria. They provide a range of consultation
services, information and tools. They can also provide links to local health
service organisations and co-operatives across Victoria.
- The Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL) is a community based organisation. Their vision is to “empower the Victorian Aboriginal community to achieve social, political and economic equity, whilst maintaining and strengthening identity, culture, pride and social purpose.” VACSAL is involved in organising carnivals and events for Basketball, Netball and AFL.
- The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) has two offices in Melbourne and provides a range of services to meet the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sport and Recreation (MAYSAR) is a Melbourne based co-operative providing sport and recreation opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Local Aboriginal Networks (LANs) bring Aboriginal people together at the local level to set priorities, develop community plans, improve social cohesion and empower AboriginalVictorians to participate in civic and community life.
Resources and grants
Sometimes a little extra money will help you to accelerate the activities that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate.
To ensure you are in the loop on these opportunities, you are encouraged to sign up to newsletters from Sport and Recreation Victoria, VicHealth, State Sporting Associations, Vicsport or your local council.
Sport and Recreation Victoria often offer a range of grants for the Victorian sport sector. The Sporting Club Grant Program has four categories, including one for participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people offering up to $1000 for uniforms, equipment, up to $2000 for skills development training and up to $750 for travel.
Sports Community provide a regularly updated list of current grant opportunities here.
The VicHealth Active Club Grants Program offers support to get more people involved in sport at the local level.
Your local council will be a good starting place to refer to regarding grant opportunities. Refer to Know Your Council to find out more about your council, or refer to your local council website.
State Sporting Associations involved in the Everyone Wins program believe that ongoing partnerships with local businesses, governments and other not for profit organisations are key to making inclusion sustainable.
Celebrating and Sharing Stories
National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week celebrations are held annually in July to “celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” By taking part in the celebration, your organisation can demonstrate a commitment to recognising the contributions which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make in Australia. The NAIDOC website provides posters and other communications tools to help you celebrate.
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebration of two important milestones – the 1967 referendum which resulted in changes to the constitution of Australia to allow the federal government to create laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in census data. Your organisation can get involved by supporting NRW events or utilising the supplied communications tools (like posters or website graphics) to promote your involvement and support.
Sharing your success stories with other sport organisations can be a great way to demonstrate the work that you have been doing to increase engagement of Aboriginal people. These stories can generate interest and excitement around your sport or organisation. They can also get more community members interested in the steps your organisation has taken, expose your organisation to more potential Aboriginal leaders, participants or volunteers.
It is important to recognise and celebrate the people within your sport who have led the way on boosting Aboriginal participation. This can include recognition within your organisation, or entering awards offered by other sport sector organisations or local council. Here’s some ideas:
- Offer awards and recognition within your club or association – this might be as simple as certificates and “thank you” letters from committees and recognising champions through award structures (e.g. annual and/or regular awards).
- Nominate people or organisations for awards such as the Victorian Sport Awards, State Sporting Associations awards or local council awards.
- Display awards that recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in and around your organisation’s shared spaces.
Vicsport's fortnightly e-newsletter containing information and updates from across the sport industry.
Cricket Australia’s guide for inclusion and diversity provides useful tips and learnings about inclusion of Aboriginal people which any sport organisation can learn from.
Netball Australia’s guide to diversity and inclusion uses the Play by the Rules ‘7 pillars of inclusion’ framework, and also provides useful tips and learnings about inclusion of Aboriginal people which any sport organisation can learn from.
This page provides information, research and links to inform sport organisations across the country about Aboriginal people and sporting participation.