A traditional welcome on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today has launched Cricket Australia’s (CA) second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Today’s announcement confirmed CA’s commitment to deepening relationships and further growing the popularity of cricket with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
With a vision of Cricket Connecting Country, the RAP demonstrates a desire for cricket to continue to change the narrative, be bolder with our statements and push boundaries with our actions.
This focus has seen CA’s second RAP awarded Stretch status by Reconciliation Australia – a first for a national sporting organisation.
Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Australia, Kevin Roberts said:
“There are some bold aspirations in this plan and as an organisation we are driven to create an environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures and values are respected and reflected throughout the cricketing landscape.
“More importantly, our new Reconciliation Action Plan is an honest reflection of the work that still needs to be done as an organisation, and a strong statement about CA’s desire to be a national leader in contributing to an equitable and reconciled Australia.
“We have seen the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants in cricket grow from 8,500 in 2013 to 69,092 participants in organised cricket across the country in 2019.
“This is starting to translate into professional players, with 10 Aboriginal players contracted to men’s and women’s Big Bash teams this season.
“Our long-standing annual carnivals – the Imparja Cup and National Indigenous Cricket Championships – are events that allow us to provide a strong platform to grow participation as well as celebrate Indigenous culture.”
Bungjalung woman and Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine said:
“Reconciliation Australia congratulates CA on its past successes and continued commitment to reconciliation, as it implements its second Reconciliation Action Plan; its first Stretch RAP.
“CA’s capacity to advance reconciliation through sport, spectatorship and the wider cricketing community cannot be overstated.
“Cricket occupies a special place in the Australian identity, with the cricket pitch providing fertile ground for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians to come together under the banner of mutual respect and sportsmanship.”
Butchulla woman and Cricket Australia’s Indigenous Engagement Specialist, Courtney Hagen said:
“On 1 February 2020 the Australian Women’s Cricket Team will wear an Aboriginal-designed uniform in their T20 fixture against England on Ngunnawal Country, at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
“On this day both teams will conclude the match by forming a barefoot circle of commitment to reconciliation.
“This match coincides with the inaugural ‘Reconciliation Round’ for community and Premier Cricket clubs across Australia. An opportunity for clubs to join in the celebrations and bring to life locally what reconciliation means to them and their community.”
The artwork from the RAP was designed by Gunnai and Wiradjuri man, Robert Young.
“It represents connecting to country – barefoot backyard to bush – based on the notion that
the first time someone picks up a cricket bat they are barefoot in their backyard, naturally connecting to Country at the same time, they have their close connection to cricket.”
Acknowledgement to Country
Cricket Australia acknowledges and pays respects to the hundreds of First Nations and Traditional Custodians of the land and waters encompassing where we are privileged to live, work and play the great game of cricket.
We recognise and celebrate their spiritual and ongoing connection to culture and Country.
We respectfully acknowledge all Elders past, present and emerging as we continue to cherish shared wisdom and grow with their guidance as we walk together toward a united Country.