The Department is focused on creating environments to increase Aboriginal participation in organised sport and recreation as athletes, coaches, officials and administrators – from grass-roots programs through to elite competition.
Participation in sport and recreation plays a vital role in improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal people and their communities. It provides a range of benefits including increase self esteem, social cohesion, better health and overall wellbeing.
Find out how sport and recreation benefits the community.
WA Aboriginal Sports Council (WAASC)
The WAASC was convened by the former Department of Sport and Recreation in November 2016 to oversee and advise on the development of a new sport and culture agenda for Aboriginal people in WA.
There are eight members, of which six are external appointments, namely Bruce Loo (Chair), Wayne Nannup, Mick Albert, Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, Rishelle Hume and Clive Walley. Sport and Recreation representatives are Graham Brimage (Executive Director Sport and Recreation) and Antoni Grover.
The need for its establishment emerged through an extensive stakeholder engagement process which culminated in a discussion paper: “Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Service Delivery: A Discussion Paper, May 2016, Department of Sport and Recreation”. It followed the Federal Government’s decision to cease support for the Aboriginal Sport Development Program (known nationally as the Indigenous Sport Program), which it had funded for around 20 years.
WA Aboriginal Sports Council Terms of Reference
You can also stay up-to-date with all the Aboriginal sport and recreation activities happening throughout WA by reading the latest edition of The Chronicle, or by contacting one of the Aboriginal Sport Development Officers.
Newcrest Mining and Ngurra Kujungka
In the Western Desert the program is delivered through a partnership with Newcrest Mining. Now in its fifth year it has helped develop Ngurra Kujungka Inc (formerly Western Desert Sports Council) to work with remote schools to run sports carnivals and other activities in Aboriginal communities. Elders, parents, children and other service providers are now intimately involved in the program.
The program partners with State Sporting Associations (SSAs) to encourage Aboriginal people to try new sports and join local clubs and associations. This creates stronger community connections and enables talented participants to be identified and supported to participate at high performing levels.
Western Desert Program Manager
Email the Western Desert Program Manager
This partnership delivers shared skills, knowledge, mentoring, funding and resources to communities across the Great Southern region. It provides staff with training and development, building community capacity and sustainable services in regional communities.
Visit the Wirrpanda Foundation website for more information.
Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation in the Mid West (IAS)
This partnership expands the Indigenous Lifestyle Development Project - increasing physical activity in the community through sport and active recreation. It aims to increase community safety and well-being, and improve health within each community.
Kaat Koort n Hoops (KKnH)
This partnership is a comprehensive lifestyle program that uses basketball to build the capacity and skills of young people, in particular Aboriginal youth, within the City of Swan. The program is delivered from the Swan Park Leisure Centre, located in Midvale, to develop the basketball skills of children four to 13 years. KKnH also develops the skills of Aboriginal high school students aged 14 to 17 years by delivering basketball training to the younger children.
From grassroots to elite athletes
Additional support and funding for programs has been allocated through a number of sports and associations to support the development of programs and participants from the local community level, through to elite athletes. Supporters include:
Programs and initiatives
Aboriginal Grassroots Netball Program
Delivered by Netball WA, this program increases opportunities for Aboriginal players to progress through talent pathways from community participation to high performance athletes, volunteers, coaches and administrators. Grass-roots clubs gain capacity to join mainstream competitions which increases cross-cultural awareness, skill levels and accreditation opportunities.
The program also partners with Netball WA to run the successful annual NAIDOC Netball Carnival.
Youth Engagement Projects
Since 2009, these projects have used sport, recreation and cultural activities in priority areas on Friday and Saturday nights to divert youth from the Northbridge nightclub precinct. Statistics have shown a significant and consistent decrease in the number of detained youth.
Programs such as Ignite Basketball and Night Hoops are currently running in the Cities of Swan, Armadale, Fremantle and Cockburn.
Nicky Winmar Carnival
This key WA football carnival involves members of the Aboriginal community at all levels – players, coaches, umpires and administrators. The carnival encourages youth to actively participate in sport and understand how important support roles are important to run successful teams. It helps participants gain skills, play competitively and have the opportunity to be selected for development pathways.
More information about the Nichy Winmar Carnival.
The new Perth Stadium
After obtaining conditional consent to use the Burswood site to construct the new Perth Stadium and Sports Precinct, the State drafted a Aboriginal Heritage Management Plan and Aboriginal Engagement Strategy. Done in consultation with the Whadjuk Working Party ensures ongoing engagement, management and heritage protocols are adhered to during construction.
NAIDOC Netball Carnival
Supported by the Department, the NAIDOC Netball Carnival is a highlight of the netball calendar, where teams, officials, volunteers and spectators come together to celebrate sport, cultural diversity and friendship.
The 2015 Carnival will see a record 80 teams take part, with funds raised to go to the Aboriginal Grassroots Netball Program and the NAIDOC All-star team.
Community Participation Funding
Funding initiatives that target low participation groups including Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD), Aboriginal communities and people with a disability.
Community Participation Funding is open year-round and grants are limited to $1000–$5000.
Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program
The Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program (EITAAP) provides grants for travel and accommodation expenses to Aboriginal people who have been selected to represent Western Australia at national sporting events and competitions, or to represent Australia internationally. These grants can be accessed by any athlete, coach, manager, trainer or official who is 12 years or older.
The Australian Sports Commission provides more information on the Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program.