Sport and Recreation Reconciliation Action Plan 2017–2020

A statement of commitment

Our vision for reconciliation

Sport and Recreation WA, a division of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) is committed to a diverse sport and recreation industry that encourages participation, develops talent and contributes to the health, social and emotional wellbeing of all Aboriginal people in Western Australia.

Our mission

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of Western Australians through their participation and achievement in sport and recreation.

Sport and Recreation WA develops and implements government policy and initiatives in sport and recreation, while contributing to the healthy lifestyle of Western Australians by increasing physical activity through sport and recreation and providing assistance and advice to local communities, the sports industry, organisations and clubs, businesses and other government departments.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

“Reconciliation is about mutual respect, a willingness to listen and learn from each other. Aboriginal culture is rich and enduring and it is essential to build a greater understanding and awareness of Aboriginal culture and the value it adds to our workplace and our community as a whole.” (Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website)

“A RAP provides an organisation with a framework for the future, detailing steps and priorities to achieve Indigenous1 equality.” (Reconciliation Australia website)

The most significant learning from Sport and Recreation WA’s inaugural RAP was that it was too complex regarding the quantum of actions (too many), diversity of actions (some strategic, others operational and low-level) and perhaps unrealistic and impractical expectations (thus low likelihood of actions being implemented).

This new RAP is a more strategic and concise document, and it complements the new delivery strategy2 for Aboriginal sport and recreation. It reflects a focus on achieving outcomes in the areas of relationships, mutual respect and understanding, and opportunities, much the same as the focus areas recommended by Reconciliation Australia. A cross-agency reference group, comprising Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff, informed its development.

The goals of this RAP are to:

  • Promote cultural understanding and influence everyday behaviour to enhance the quality of service and support to the Aboriginal community (building and maintaining better relationships).
  • Embed cultural elements in Sport and Recreation WA’s events and activities (mutual respect and understanding of the unique contribution of Aboriginal people).
  • Enable Aboriginal people to influence and guide sport and recreation policy (leading to equal opportunities).

A RAP Working Group, guided by Terms of Reference supported by Sport and Recreation WA’s Corporate Executive, will develop and facilitate implementation of actions required to achieve the RAP’s deliverables, track and report on progress and monitor Sport and Recreation WA's contribution to reconciliation.


Building and maintaining employee and stakeholder capacity, particularly around Aboriginal engagement and collaboration, is crucial to the success of Sport and Recreation WA’s reconciliation goals.

Activity Deliverable
1. Celebrate and participate in National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week and/or other major cultural events. Staff participate in internal and external events to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal culture.
2. Develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal people, communities and organisations. Service delivery partnerships with the Aboriginal community are developed and maintained, and services delivered and promoted in line with Sport and Recreation WA’s Aboriginal service delivery principles and practices3.

Mutual respect and understanding

Sport and Recreation WA believes that education, acknowledgment, and respect and understanding of culture plays an important part of reconciliation.

Mutual respect and understanding
Activity Deliverable
3. Engage employees in cultural learning opportunities to increase understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. A cultural knowledge, awareness, sensitivity and competency training strategy is implemented for all staff.
4. Engage employees in understanding the significance of Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country. Cultural protocols for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country are developed, communicated and implemented.
5. Ensure that reconciliation is a mutual obligation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. A commitment to reconciliation is reflected in the day to day activities of management and staff.


Aboriginal people have made a major contribution to sport and recreation over a very long time. Sport and Recreation WA now seeks to increase Aboriginal influence in the industry through decision making and employment.

Activity Deliverable
6. Investigate opportunities to improve and increase Aboriginal employment outcomes within our workplace. An Aboriginal employment, professional development and retention strategy is designed and implemented, consistent with State Public Service policy and standards.
7. Streamline access to funding for Aboriginal organisations and other organisations targeting Aboriginal people and communities. Culturally appropriate application processes, procedures and documentation are developed.
Direct support and mentoring is provided to Aboriginal people to complete application requirements.
8. Provide opportunities for the Western Australian Aboriginal community to provide high level policy advice on sport and recreation programs and services. Sport and Recreation WA’s strategies and policies are guided by an Aboriginal sport and recreation (culture) advisory group or similar.


  1. Indigenous is still used at a national level whereas the Western Australian Government uses Aboriginal.
  2. The new service delivery strategy is centred on an Aboriginal advisory group driving a range of initiatives in pursuit of the aspirational outcomes identified in the discussion paper Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Service Delivery: A Discussion Paper May 2016.
  3. Sport and Recreation WA's Aboriginal service delivery principles and practices were derived from the May 2016 discussion paper.