By Shannon Beattie
Imagine 10 Buddy Franklins running around football fields in WA and it could become a reality due to a plan being put together by the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC).
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) aims to recognise the contribution made by Aboriginal people to Aussie Rules football and grow Aboriginal involvement at all levels of the game.
The RAP will be registered with Reconciliation Australia and is being developed by a dedicated committee set up by the WAFC.
The committee is made up of WAFC executive staff and representatives from the Aboriginal Advisory Group, like ex-WAFL coach Grant Dorrington.
“Nothing is going to happen overnight, reconciliation takes time but the foundation of using football gives us a really good chance at creating a greater connection between white and aboriginal people,” said Mr Dorrington.
The members of the committee all have years of experience in the football world.
Noongar man Bruce Loo has been around the game for more than 30 years and is excited about what the plan will achieve.
“The RAP will get some real sustainable employment outcomes for Aboriginal people, as administrators and coaches at the highest level of the game,” said Mr Loo.
Larry Kickett is the first and only Aboriginal Commissioner at the WAFC.
He is one of the driving members in the RAP committee and, as an ex WAFL player, knows just how important reconciliation is.
“The plan will help players in that when they walk into a club they know the club has done cross-cultural training, understands the issues Aboriginal people face and they will have support there if they need it,” said Mr Kickett.
The plan is still at the consultation phase but drafting will begin soon with the aim for it to be completed by the end of 2015.
To hear more from WAFL legend, Larry Kickett about the Reconciliation Action Plan, listen to the interview below.
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