25 September 2023

Indigenous onside with sports agency

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Sport Australia, the former Australian Sports Commission, has marked National Reconciliation Week by reaffirming a commitment to celebrate the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to Australian sport.

Chief Executive of Sport Australia, Kate Palmer said the Agency’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2020 committed it to creating positive and lasting change to reduce inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

“According to AusPlay data, Indigenous Australians are less likely to participate in sport or physical activity than non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Palmer said.

“Rates of Indigenous participation in sport and physical activity also decline more rapidly after the age of 11, compared to non-Indigenous children of the same age.”

She said sport could assist in engaging Indigenous communities and improving their health and wellbeing.

“Sport Australia commits to playing a lead role in promoting sport and physical recreation as a means to close the gap in life outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Palmer said.

She said Sport Australia’s national Sporting Schools program provided additional funding to schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“To date, more than 4,800 schools have benefited, receiving an additional $500 payment on top of their Sporting Schools grant,” Ms Palmer said.

She said Sport Australia had a resource, Yulunga Traditional Indigenous Games, which preserved and promoted more than 100 traditional Indigenous Australian games and activities.

She said that in addition, the Agency had developed and shared its own Acknowledgement of Country, inscribed on plaques in office meeting rooms.

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