Cricket Australia will enlist the assistance of a wide range of experts and sportspeople to develop the next stage of its diversity and inclusion action plan.
Cricketers Usman Khawaja and Elyse Villani, along with Graeme Innes AM, former Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner and member of the blind community, are among those who will assist with the process.
Working groups have been formed comprising a combination of external members and CA employees across three areas: disability, cultural diversity and diverse genders and sexuality.
The program is intended to ensure Cricket Australia has the best possible action plan to guide decisions made across all parts of the game and will work hand in hand with Cricket Australia’s existing Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan launched in December 2019.
Also enlisted across the groups are former Paralympic gold medalist and accessibility consultant Nick Morris OAM, member of the deaf community and former Olympic decathlete Dean Barton-Smith AM, National Program Manager for Pride in Sport Beau Newell and Sri Lankan cricketing great Asanka Gurusinha.
Having implemented initiatives across participation including the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, National Cricket Inclusion Championships and the recent release of cricket’s guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in cricket, Cricket Australia, alongside Commonwealth Bank as the Principal Partner of the A Sport For All Program, acknowledges the importance of diversity across all areas of the sport.
This includes the recruitment and retention of staff, cultural safety in the workplace, major events, digital platforms and education across all forms of cricket.
Adam Cassidy, Cricket Australia Diversity and Inclusion Manager, said: “We’re very excited about bringing people with a wealth of different professional and lived experience together to help us advance as an organisation.
“We believe we have implemented some great programs at a participation level and have a reasonable base to be starting from, however we would be naive to think we have all the answers within our walls to be a truly inclusive sport.
“To have secured the calibre within these groups who can help guide the work of our wonderful staff at Cricket Australia is something we are thankful for. We hope they are just as excited as us to be on this journey of becoming an inclusive sport.”
Beau Newell, Pride in Sport National Program Manager, said: “Pride in Sport is thrilled to be a part of this important project that Cricket Australia is launching.
“We know from experience that most sports have an appetite to be inclusive but often need some outside guidance on what is best practice or where they have gaps when trying to create a safe and inclusive environment for particular communities.
“As a partner of Cricket Australia, Pride in Sport is looking forward to further strengthening that relationship and also learning from the many other wonderful people involved in the process.”
The groups will begin working together on the development of the diversity and inclusion action plan next month.