Welcome to the resource page designed to inform Members of the Reconciliation journey being embarked upon by Sport SA on behalf of sport in South Australia.

To view the Sport SA RAP click here

This is a strategic initiative supported by the Office for Recreation and Sport and, with the endorsement of the Sport SA Board, represents a collaborative approach between Sport SA (acting on behalf of Sport SA members), the State Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, the Aboriginal community, and Reconciliation Australia. The intent is the establishment of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) that provides the framework to realise the vision for reconciliation; in particular building on relationships, respect and opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in sport.

Through our RAP, Sport SA will be advocating to enable all South Australians to participate in, and be included in, sporting activities. We are keen to ensure Aboriginal people join in and enjoy our sporting activities for a healthy, active lifestyle.

The RAP will also facilitate the sporting pathway that will bring success for Aboriginal people.

Our Journey

A journey has a commencement, it covers a period of time and it arrives at a destination.  Our journey follows the path recommended by Reconciliation Australia, the lead body for reconciliation in the nation. Since 2001 it has been promoting and facilitating reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our journey commenced when the Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement approached Sport CEO to discuss the possibility of having a RAP that provided opportunities for the South Australian Aboriginal communities. The concept was embraced by the Sport SA Board and the project began to gain momentum. It is the intention of all stakeholders to have a RAP in place covering the period June 2018 to June 2020. Along the way we will work to a project plan that covers five key steps. Highlights, objectives and milestones of this journey will be recorded. More detail on each appears under separate headings.

Establishment of the RAP Working Group and Terms of Reference - May 2017- December 2017

Achievements to include the formation of the Working Group: agreement on the Terms of Reference: formal support from the Office for Recreation and Sport: development around the concept of Champions for Reconciliation

Stakeholder engagement - ongoing

Achievements to include a Workshop for Sport SA Members: formal contact established with Reconciliation Australia: Sport SA Members to participate in an audit

Sport SA/RAP Working Group/Sport SA Members commitment while the RAP is under development - ongoing

Achievements to include the establishment of a Member Knowledge Centre: the promotion of successful programs conducted by Members in conjunction with the Aboriginal community: Inclusion of Aborginal Cultural elements in Sport SA and Member activities:  Media coverage

RAP development - January 2018 - June 2018

Achievements to include research into existing RAP Plans particularly in the sport and fitness industry: lodgement of a RAP with Reconciliation Australia: Approval: RAP launch

RAP implementation - June 2018 - June 2020

Achievements to include all Members committed to one of the Models of Engagement: representation of the Aboriginal community on key governance positions: Review of the Sport SA Strategic Plan: Continued advocacy for Recognition and Support of Aboriginal sportspeople in sport: Training opportunities for Aborginal people to be identified and implemented

Detail: Establishment of the RAP Working Group and Terms of Reference

RAP Working Group

In May 2017 a Working Group, representing Aboriginal and non Aboriginal stakeholders, met to develop the Terms of Reference. It is the responsibility of the RAP Working Group to guide Sport SA in the co-design, development and implementation of a RAP. The Working Group comprises:

  • Co Chairs: Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, Commissioner Harry Miller, Hon Michael Wright, President of Sport SA
  • Aboriginal representation:  Ms Nerida Saunders, Ms Tahnee Sutton, Ms Kelly Harrington
  • Proxies: Mr Terry Sparrow, Ms Jade Wilson, Mr Shouwn Oosting
  • Non-Aborginal representation: Mr David Hutton, Sport SA Director; Ms Katrina Webb OAM Sport SA Director
  • Ex Officio/Observers: Ms Jan Sutherland, CEO Sport SA; Mr Matt Lucas or Harry Miller Jnr - Office for Recreation and Sport; Ms Pam Simmons RAP Project Officer.

Champions for Reconciliation

The RAP Working Group agreed the need to identify profile people, both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal who could promote the RAP and what it is out to achieve. Members took it upon themselves to nominate people who could act as a 'Champion for Reconciliation'. The criteria for nomination ensures the Champions are highly respected and known for their commitment to sport and Aboriginal participation. They will act as role models by demonstrating a successful career in sport and life skillss and be willing to promote and support the implementation of opportunities for Aboriginal people. 

Currently a number of people are being approached by the Co Chairs to seek their interest. As Champions are identified, they will appear on this website.

Detail: Stakeholder engagement

Sport SA Member Audit

The RAP Working Group requested that a "snap shot" of the current uptake of reconciliation initiatives by Members be undertaken. It also used the survey to find out whether a RAP was already in place at either the national or state level. While there were very few Members with a RAP in place, nearly 50% of responses indicated that they actively encouraged participation of Aboriginal people in their sport.

Reconciliation Workshop for Members

Facilitated by Reconciliation South Australia, a number of Members attended a workshop in December. The purpose was to provide everyone with a general understanding of the project, the intent and progress to date. It further sought to ensure there was an awareness of Reconciliation and why this is important.  Those attending contributed to the success of the day: discussion was open and honest and at times thought provoking.

We encourage you to visit the workshop slides to gain an understanding of the journey. Workshop presentation

Communication with Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation Australia has dedicated Program Managers who assist organisations with the development of a RAP. We have made formal contact with Tom Cappie-Wood who will be our primary contact.


Detail: Sport SA/RAP Working Group/Sport SA Members commitment while the RAP is under development

Promotional material

Sport SA has produced a banner and some brochures that are available to Members for use and distribution.

Sport SA can also tailor flyers to suit a member's needs. For example, it put together a flyer for Golf SA to promote participation in the Masters Games.

Please contact Sport SA if you wish to have material for your next event.

Masters Games 2018


The Rural City of Murray Bridge hosted the annual South Australian Masters Games from 19 – 22 April 2018. Through the Office for the Ageing (SA Health), Sport SA has received funding to support the participation and involvement of the Aboriginal community in these Games.

We identified two Aboriginal Ambassadors who joined with other Ambassadors Michelle Den Dekker and Mark Davis; who engaged with the Ngarrindjeri Community so Member organisations could enter Aboriginal teams or individual athletes to introduce a cultural aspect to the Games.

Nerida Saunders and Herb Mack, both enthusiasts in their relevant sports (golf and cycling) and highly respected in the Aboriginal community, accepted the honour of being Ambassadors. They worked closely with the community to ensure there was awareness of the event and the importance of participating for better health and wellbeing while engaging in a fun experience.

Sport SA worked closely with the Masters Games officials and the Rural City of Murray Bridge to ensure the success of this initiative.

Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country

As a commitment to the journey, Members are encouraged to open events with a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country which are important practices in Australia that formally pay respect to the original custodians of the land.

Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country ceremony – which may be a short spoken statement or something more involved with traditional singing, dancing or smoke ceremonies – is performed by an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Owner or custodian to welcome visitors to their traditional country.  It is an ancient practice dating back many thousands of years.

Acknowledgement of Country

Acknowledgement of Country is where hosts of an event such as a meeting, conference or gathering acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which the event is being held.  While the Acknowledgement of Country, which can be delivered by a non-Aboriginal person, can be formal or informal, the South Australian Government has developed a formal Acknowledgement in consultation with Aboriginal people and representative bodies. 

Protocol for use: The Statement of Acknowledgement is to be read aloud at the commencement of gatherings held within the Adelaide region.

For more information please visit:

Detail: RAP development

Type of RAP

There are four levels of Plans: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate.

Given Sport SA and some of the Members are able to demonstrate a long standing and strong commitment to Aboriginal participation in sport, Reconciliation Australia and the RAP Working Group have determined it feasible to implement a RAP - Innovate.

As part of the RAP, four specific outcomes have been identified by the RAP Working Group ie:

  • Better health and wellbeing for Aboriginal people through taking up sport
  • Increased participation of Aboriginal people in coaching, volunteering, administration
  • Potential elite athlete pathways
  • Model for consideration by other states.


Several sporting organisations in the state already have a RAP in place. The intended RAP for Sport in South Australia does not replace or override these; rather, they fit within four possible Models of Engagement.

Sport and Fitness Industry RAP in place

Organisation                                                      National/State                  RAP Level

  • Adelaide Football Club (AFC)                            State                                    Innovate
  • Australian Football League (AFL)                      National                               Innovate
  • AFL Players’ Association                                   National                               Innovate
  • Cricket Australia                                                 National                               Innovate
  • Fitness Australia                                                 National                              Innovate
  • National Rugby League (NRL)                           National                               Stretch
  • Netball Australia                                                 National                               Innovate
  • Netball SA                                                          State                                    Innovate
  • Port Adelaide Football Club                               State                                    Stretch
  • Rugby Australia                                                 National                                Innovate

Detail: RAP implementation


This Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is intended to cover all sports in South Australia. It is being driven by Sport SA on behalf of the Aboriginal Community following an approach by the State Commissioner of Aboriginal Engagement, the State Government through the Office for Recreation and Sport and Sport SA members.


The intent of this RAP is to ensure all sporting bodies embrace Reconciliation and introduce initiatives in their various codes that bring increased health, fitness and wellbeing opportunities for Aboriginal people.


The Sport SA RAP is “a-whole-of-sport” RAP because it sits over a number of different sporting codes as members and it is not intended to replace or supersede any RAP that an existing sporting code may already have (e.g. Netball SA). Rather it is designed to complement / value-add to that RAP and possibly provide guidance in terms of any gaps that may exist (e.g. policy gaps and special measures etc.)


The Board of Sport SA has now endorsed ‘in principle’ the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan September, 2018 – September, 2020 as an important strategy for sport in the future. The Board is now seeking comment from its members, stakeholders and the wider community on the Action Plan. Your input into this stage of the process is required as your feedback will be collated by the RAP Working Group and Reconcilation Australia and then fully endorsed by The Sport SA Board.


Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan September, 2018 – September, 2020 can be accessed here RAP ACTION PLAN


Please provide your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by COB Monday 25 June 2018.