Spread the love

Paralympics Australia has established a Reconciliation Action Plan working group to coordinate a program to increase respect and knowledge of the nation’s Indigenous cultures.

The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program is an initiative by Reconciliation Australia. It provides a structured framework for organisations to take meaningful action to advance reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples. PA’s RAP working group will be responsible for the development and implementation of the initial RAP for the organisation.

The working group comprises Indigenous Paralympians Torita Blake (Para-athletics – 2012, 2016), and Tracy Barrell (Para-swimming – 1992), as well as PA Board Member Tim Carmody, staff from multiple departments covering the majority of PA’s branches in five states and representatives from Outback Academy Australia.

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said that the formation of the Reconciliation Action Plan working group was a significant milestone.

“Paralympics Australia has established its Reconciliation Action Plan working group to affirm our organisation’s commitment to taking meaningful action towards a reconciled nation,” Anderson said.

“Involvement in the RAP program is of utmost importance to everyone at PA, our Board and staff, as we strive to contribute meaningfully to reconciliation. We recognise the important role that sport can play in this process, and are also conscious of the platform we have as an organisation that showcases Australian sport and the Australian disability communities to the world.”

Initiatives will continue PA’s efforts to promote respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Recent examples included the Australian Paralympic Team’s uniforms and equipment for the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games featuring a unique artwork by Indigenous artist Rheanna Lotter titled ‘The Journey’. The design, which represents the diversity and connectedness of Paralympic athletes from different backgrounds, created the opportunity for Australia’s Paralympians to proudly honour and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

“It is with great pride that we develop the Reconciliation Action Plan working group, which will be vital in the development, implementation and monitoring of Paralympics Australia’s first Reconciliation Action Plan,” Anderson said.

“PA is committed to acknowledging and championing the diverse cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the platform of sport. Involvement with the RAP program will continue to bring reconciliation to the forefront of Paralympics Australia’s work.”

“We look forward to being an active participant in the contribution to the reconciliation of our nation.”

The inaugural Reflect RAP will be submitted to Reconciliation Australia for review in early 2022.

By: Lucy Hunt, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 23 November 2021