Sunshine Coast Lightning is privileged to announce the launch of the Club’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) today.
The RAP has been formally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and provides the initial framework in Lightning’s commitment to educate, understand and acknowledge First Nations people and their culture, connections and histories.
Lightning has taken deliberate, tangible steps towards better educating its staff this season, while making meaningful connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on the Sunshine Coast.
The implementation of the RAP forms one component of the Club’s focus on developing strong mutually beneficial relationships, seeking greater respect and supporting social and economic opportunities within the organisation and community.
Lightning CEO Danielle Smith said formally introducing a RAP is a needed positive step towards real change.
“The Sunshine Coast is rich with First Nations culture and has proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation and as a Club we felt a strong responsibility to play our role in striving towards reconciliation,” Smith said.
“Buy-in from the entire club was paramount in the decision to submit a designated Reconciliation Action Plan, led by our committed RAP Working Group.
“As a proud community Club, the RAP adds another layer to how we can positively influence and contribute to the wider Sunshine Coast region and its people.”
The RAP addresses Reconciliation Australia’s four key pillars – Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance, with each action point agreed upon by the Club’s RAP Working Group.
The working group includes internal and external stakeholders including Community Manager Georgia Galton, player representative Ashlee Unie and two of the Club’s dedicated First Nations volunteers Tanya Morcom and Maryanne Williams.
“Implementing a RAP is something that we are incredibly passionate about and have already made significant strides as an organisation this year,” Galton said.
“Engaging with two of our First Nations workforce volunteers allowed us to share knowledge and experiences and form responses to each of the four pillars that will be impactful, inclusive and sincere.
“We are committed to further growing and developing our Confident Girls Foundation First Nations Program, Indigenous Round initiatives and proactive cultural connections at the Club.”
Lightning engaged local Kabi Kabi artist Aunty Hope O’Chin to design the RAP cover artwork which depicts the Kabi Kabi First Nations connection to Country, determined by our Dreaming.
The page artwork also incorporates artwork from Aunty Hope which has featured on Lightning’s Indigenous dress in previous seasons, creating a meaningful tie-in to the Club’s First Nations established connections.