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Commission recommends removing structural barriers to racial equality at Basketball Australia

Race Discrimination
woman playing basketball with friends

The Australian Human Rights Commission today released its report on the independent Racial Equality Review of Basketball Australia.

The report, commissioned by Basketball Australia, examined organisational policies, pathways, programs, leagues, governance, and culture within basketball at the national level, providing 12 recommendations to make the sport’s governing body more inclusive. 

Basketball Australia has already committed to adopting and implementing all recommendations. 

National Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said: “I am pleased to see that Basketball Australia has committed to action on the back of the Commission's review. 

“Structural racial inequality 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 review was commissioned last year against the backdrop of global protests and calls for racial justice through the Black Lives Matter movement. This prompted Basketball Australia to examine its own organisation through the lived experiences of pathway participants and staff – current and former – from diverse backgrounds.

The review examined structural barriers to achieving racial equality within basketball, as well as the organisational culture of Basketball Australia. It also highlighted local and international examples of good practice. 

The report’s 12 recommendations provide a blueprint for inclusion and equality within Basketball Australia. 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.

As part of the review, the Commission heard from current and former national players and their families, coaches, administrators, and Basketball Australia staff. Their input was strictly confidential and voluntary, and included written submissions, interviews and focus group. 

The Commission also conducted a desktop audit of Basketball Australia’s corporate policies, protocols, and governance structures relating to racial equality and inclusion.