Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Essendon on the mark for reconciliation

Essendon Football Club today became the first AFL club to develop and implement its own Reconciliation Action Plan setting out a practical agenda to strengthen and expand its partnerships with Indigenous Australians.

The plan builds on the significant steps the club has already taken to build strong working relationships grounded in mutual respect and trust.

It includes practical measures such as supporting professional development for Indigenous staff, using Indigenous networks when advertising for new staff, offering traineeships and work experience within club businesses and off-field development for Indigenous players.

Essendon has a great record of nurturing players and relationships with Indigenous Australians, including its work with the remote communities of Wadeye and the Tiwi Islands.

The club also supports the Rumbalara Football and Netball club in Shepparton, working with business to encourage young Indigenous students to complete school and offering work placements and trainee and apprenticeships.

Through its practical commitment to reconciliation, Essendon is sending a powerful message with the capacity to reach its 42,000 members and an estimated 1.1 million supporters.

Essendon’s commitment is shared by many other sporting codes which recognise the great potential for sport as a positive influence in people’s lives, particularly children.