BA commit to addressing racial equality following independent review

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Basketball Australia (BA) has committed to action on Racial Equality within the sport’s governing body, following an independent review of the organisation by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

BA proactively engaged the Commission to undertake the independent review, the findings and recommendation of which were endorsed recently by the BA Board. The organisation has already commenced the development of an action plan to adopt the Commission’s recommendations.

The Commission has today publicly released a 48-page report into the review which outlines the key findings, highlights international and domestic examples of good practice, and makes 12 recommendations for BA.

Basketball Australia CEO Jerril Rechter AM said the undertaking of this review and the adoption of the Commission’s recommendations reflects the organisation’s commitment to ensuring the sport’s governing body is truly inclusive, particularly for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders and ethnic, and/or ethno-religious minority groups.

“The Black Lives Matter social movement asked the world to look inward and act to support the delivery of racial equality, and that’s exactly what Basketball Australia did by approaching the Australian Human Rights Commission to undertake this independent review.

“For decades, Australian basketball has been enriched by people of colour and by undertaking this review, Basketball Australia took a position of leadership in acknowledging that as a governing body we need to ensure the organisation reflects our diverse community.

“The findings and recommendations of this review are a call to action for Basketball Australia to improve its culture and its structural systems to build an organisation and a sport where everyone can grow, develop, progress, and feel included.

“Led by the Board, Basketball Australia has committed to adopting and implementing the recommendations within the report, which will also feed into the organisation’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. We hope the review will also be of relevance to all organisations across the basketball community with many of the recommendations relevant at State and Territory, and community levels.”

The review examined existing structural barriers to achieving racial equality within organisational policies, pathways, programs, leagues, governance, and culture within BA; and the experiences of current and former national players and their families, coaches, administrators, and BA staff about the organisational culture at BA, in particular as it relates to racial equality.

On speaking about the review, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Chin Tan said: “I am pleased to see that Basketball Australia has committed to action on the back of the Commission’s review.

“Structural racism erodes the ability for people to be treated fairly and equally, and it needs to be addressed proactively by all sectors of Australian society.”

The 12 recommendations in the review provide a blueprint for inclusion within BA under three focus areas.

  • Focus area one: Leadership and governance.
  • Focus area two: Cultural safety and inclusion.
  • Focus area three: Pathways for progression.

The Commission’s recommendations include:

  • Establishment of targets to diversify Board membership and broader recruitment and selection.
  • Embedment of racial equality in all policies and education.
  • Delivery of regular anti-racism and cultural awareness training.
  • Ongoing consultation with community, staff, and national players, particularly Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and people from racial, ethnic, and/or ethno-religious minority groups.
  • Opportunities and pathways for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander national players and national players from racial, ethnic, and/or ethno-religious minority groups to progress through the sport on and off the court.

In conducting the Review, the Commission engaged with current and former national team players and their families, coaches, support staff, administrators, and BA personnel by way of confidential interviews, focus groups and written submissions. The Commission also undertook a ‘desktop audit’ of BA’s relevant policies and procedures.

CLICK HERE to read the Commission’s report following its independent Review.