On Friday 3 June, the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony as part of National Reconciliation Week 2022.
In conjunction with Reconciliation Australia, the SMJFL has developed its Reflect – RAP, with artwork provided by St. Kilda Football Club great Nicky Winmar, who was in attendance. The SMJFL board and staff have made a commitment to understand the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families within our league and to create a league which is culturally safe and respectful,
“As a junior league with deep connections to our diverse community, the SMJFL is in a unique position to help change attitudes and build greater understanding of First Nations cultures and experiences,” said Richard Bowen, SMJFL Chair.
“We are committed to building awareness and ongoing education for SMJFL people about First Nations histories, cultures and their contribution to the land and country that we all call home.”
The Welcome to Country was conducted by Boon Wurrung Elder Aunty Janet Galpin and smoking ceremony led by Mr. Willie Pepper.
“Reconciliation Week is a time to strengthen relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” said Aunty Katrina Amon, St. Kilda Football Club’s Indigenous Development Manager.
“It is a time to celebrate our culture and achievements and explore our culture – the oldest living culture in the world.”
SMJFL CEO Matthew Brown said “Our league acknowledges and respects our nation’s strong Aboriginal origins, and we are deeply committed to providing an environment that welcomes and provides opportunities for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
“Our journey will also enable us to build our knowledge and understanding of the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the impacts of colonisation and the issues that continue to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples nationally.”
The RAP Launch coincided with the SMJFL B2B Breakfast Event, partnered by SMJFL Community Fund Major Partner OpenCorp.
If you would like to download a copy of the SMJFL Reconciliation Action Plan, please click the link HERE.