General News

Progress on RLPA RAP

In February 2021, the Rugby League Players’ Association launched their Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and since then the Association has achieved significant milestones.

The RLPA’s vision for reconciliation is an inclusive, educated, and respectful community in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and non-Aboriginal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are united and empowered through the shared experience rugby league provides.

Along with implementing an RLPA Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, the RLPA brought together a RAP Working Group of players who help guide our vision for reconciliation. The player RAP Working Group includes Ryan James, Adam Elliott, Angus Crichton, Shaylee Bent and Jasmine Peters. 

Some of the key milestones achieved in the RLPA’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan include:

  • Established a relationship with Aboriginal fashion label Clothing The Gaps, and collaborated on the ‘Free The Flag’ campaign.
  • Built relationships through celebrating National Reconciliation Week (NRW), participating in and attending NRW events and circulating NRW resources to RLPA staff
  • Promoted reconciliation through our sphere of influence by communicating our commitment to reconciliation publicly and on social media, and implemented strategies to engage our staff in reconciliation.
  • Promoted positive race relations through anti-discrimination strategies by implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
  • Increased understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures by ensuring all RLPA staff are aware of dates of significance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through our calendar of events.
  • Observing cultural protocols by including an Acknowledgement of Country and other appropriate protocols at the commencement of important meetings such as the RLPA AGM and Board meetings.
  • Demonstrated the RLPA’s commitment to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories throughout our workplace by adding an Acknowledgement of Country to correspondence templates, emails and website.
  • Improved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes by launching our Indigenous Internship program. 
  • Increased opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Islander players to become part of the RLPA leadership structure. This representation is sitting at between 8-10% across the RLPA Board, Women’s and Men’s Player Advisory Groups and Delegates.
  • Communicated the RLPA RAP to new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players during the annual Rookie Camp and offered the opportunity to be involved in RAP initiatives. 
  • Maintained an effective RAP Working Group with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on the players Group.
  • Defined and maintained appropriate systems to track, measure and report on RAP commitments with regular meetings of the RLPA staff RAP Working Group and the player RAP Working Group.
  • Including a RAP progress report in every Board Report.
  • Engaged with Members of the NRL Indigenous Advisory Group and NRL Indigenous Strategy Team to identify ways to advance reconciliation.

The RLPA’s Reconciliation Action Plan is still in progress and there are still milestones for the Association to achieve. In particular, the RLPA will be proceeding with:

  • Cultural awareness training for RLPA staff
  • Engaging with NRL Clubs to encourage them to increase support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.
  • Begin development of a mentoring program
  • Underpin our Inclusion and Diversity policy with an identification strategy that will help promote future leaders to the RLPA Delegates, Player Advisory Groups and Board.
  • Use Indigenous Internship program to develop a blueprint for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player internships at the RLPA.