Collingwood has strengthened its commitment to recognising, welcoming, understanding and assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities by launching its Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan.
Following a Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony at the Holden Centre, the next phase of Collingwood’s plan to support the reconciliation process by deepening its relationships and partnerships with First Australians was detailed.
Collingwood director and co-CEO of PwC Indigenous consulting, Jodie Sizer, Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine, Uncle Kevin Coombs, Aunty Di Kerr, Janine Coombs of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporation and Andrew Jackomos, Executive Director for Aboriginal Development for the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, were among those in attendance.
Collingwood’s Stretch RAP was two years in the making. It moves the club significantly beyond the commitments outlined in its Reflect RAP of 2015.
“Reconciliation is essential if we are to be whole, a nation completely at ease with itself,” Collingwood president, Eddie McGuire, said.
“At Collingwood, we can unify and inspire people through the power of sport. Our Stretch RAP builds on the significant achievements being realised through the Barrawarn program and, for example, our partnership with Dardi Munwurro but it is also a promise to do more.”
Collingwood CEO, Mark Anderson, added: “The Collingwood Stretch RAP is our club’s commitment to acknowledging and understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the issues they face but it is also an unequivocal commitment to act.
“It is our club, with guidance from First Australian communities and people in our organisation such as Indigenous Programs manager, Debby Lovett, Jodie Sizer and our players Travis Varcoe and Daniel Wells, saying: ‘We will listen and, together, help close the gap.’
“This Stretch RAP has been written to enrich the reconciliation conversation and deliver outcomes. I thank all who contributed to it, especially the members of the Collingwood RAP working party.”
The launch of Collingwood’s Stretch RAP sits within National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, a celebration of the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our Indigenous football code.
At the heart of this year’s NRW is the idea that the relationship between broader Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples must be grounded in truth, an agreed acceptance of the past that can serve as an “end point to a history of wrong doings”, allow healing and permit a new beginning.
The Collingwood Stretch Reconciliation Plan can be found here.
For more information about NRW can be found online.