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Connecting with the Indigenous community to learn more about the differing cultures, lands, history and people

This initiative provides current and former Australian elite athletes with meaningful opportunities to connect with the Indigenous community, and learn more about the differing cultures, lands, history and people.

The AIS has a new community engagement initiative titled Share a Yarn which will see elite athletes connect with Indigenous communities and become involved in meaningful opportunities to learn about Indigenous country, traditional owners of the land, their history and culture, in order to be better role models for the Australian community.


Through programs like #ShareAYarn, we are committed to our reconciliation journey for all Australians. We recognise the outstanding contribution Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders have made, and continue to make to sport. We denounce racism in any form #InThisTogether.

National Reconciliation Week #NRW2020

Recently, Share a Yarn ambassadors took taking part in National Reconciliation Week #NRW2020 (27 May – 3 June 2020) activities with the Indigenous youth of Arlparra, a remote community 200km from Alice Springs NT.

With physical visits to communities on hold as a result of COVID19 restrictions, athletes utilised the Share a Yarn online video platform to ask questions of youth in Arlparra through the engagement programs offered by Wanta Aboriginal Corporation, seeking to learn about aspects of culture, land, history and peoples and how they can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Athletes involved in the program will:

  1. Receive Online Training and resources to assist with topics such as culture sensitivity, communication and mentoring, maximum four hours to be completed remotely by athletes.
  2. Travel out to a community for a minimum two days and maximum four days depending on the community, to immerse in the culture of that community, learning from the locals in the area and engaging with Indigenous youth through the programs offered by a partnered organisation.
  3. Once leaving the community, stay in contact through an online video messaging platform that allows for ease of communication between the athletes and the community. An expectation of a minimum ten videos over 12 months; however, athletes will be supported if they choose to communicate more with the community
  4. Attend a minimum of one community event (facilitated by the AIS) where you can share your learnings from the initiative, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous events. The AIS will assist you in finding further events to attend if interested and will cover the costs associated with attending. Additionally, organise a minimum of one occasion with your AW&E manager within your sport to present back on learnings to other athletes and staff within your sporting community.
  5. Promote to your sport on a minimum of one occasion the Indigenous Sporting Land Map that will be hosted on the AIS website as an ongoing resource. Additional promotion through other spheres of influence would be appreciated.

Athlete Ambassadors

The athlete ambassadors selected for Share a Yarn are a mix of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) athletes and non-ATSI athletes and will be involved for a 12 month period, which includes community visits, remaining in contact and supporting communities through online video messaging, community event appearances and sharing their learning back to their sport.

Outcomes for athletes:

Increased knowledge of Indigenous culture, land and people
Improved role modelling behaviour and capability
Skill development
Opportunity to share learnings as a role model
Exposure through AIS social channels and media opportunities
Opportunity to connect to their community for improved personal wellbeing and performance
Networking with organisations in communities and at associated events facilitated by AIS


To be confirmed around athlete availability and additional liaison with community. Program will run from January 2020 to December 2020 and will operate around the Olympics and Paralympics for those athletes attending.


For further information about this program or opportunities to be involved please contact

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