Aboriginal People

Research has found that some activities which are popular amongst Aboriginal people include running, rugby, swimming, AFL, netball, basketball and soccer (After the Siren, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre). The opportunity available to all sport organisations in Victoria is to expand this list and increase the participation rates of Aboriginal people in all forms of sport and active recreation. This is important because sporting participation is about more than on-field activities – it contributes to healthier, happier and more connected communities.

When you are planning to work with Aboriginal people it is important to consider program sustainability. The benefits of strong relationships cannot be underestimated – the relationships you form with local communities and organisations will continue to provide mutually beneficial outcomes, provided they are founded on mutual respect and common goals.

Consider the fact that community perceptions may be different from your own. While you may consider your sport, or your organisation as welcoming to everyone, the perception outside your organisation may be different. If you can connect with Aboriginal people through communities, elders and local organisations and ensure they’re aware of the opportunities you are providing, you will have taken the first step in being more inclusive of Aboriginal people.

The State Sport Association Participation Program evaluation found that in 2003 physical inactivity was the fourth leading cause of burden of disease in Australia, and the burden of physical inactivity is higher among Aboriginal people.

Increasing Participation Partnerships Providing a Welcoming Experience

The information, advice and resources contained on this page have been developed by Vicsport, using the independent evaluation of the VicHealth State Sport Association Participation Program, and through consultation with VicHealth, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Netball Victoria, Cricket Australia, Surfing Victoria, Canoeing Victoria, and Gippsport.

Share your stories!

If your organisation has a story to share about participation in your sport by Aboriginal people, please feel free to contact Vicsport. We would be happy to provide links to case studies or videos on this page.


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