30 April 2021
To Whom It May Concern,
We make this submission in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The National Rugby League (NRL) runs the world’s premier Rugby League competition, is
responsible for the Australian Kangaroos and Jillaroos representative teams, and the State
of Origin series. The NRL proudly supports a comprehensive community relations program,
using our platform to drive social change on issues such as mental health, family violence,
inclusiveness and diversity and Indigenous education & employment.
The NRL has a proud history of engagement with First Nations peoples and have actively
celebrated their success on and off the Rugby League field for many years. Events such as
the NRL All-Stars Week is a great example of this commitment. We take our responsibility
to be a supporter and a leader of social change and regularly use our voice to bring light to
issues that impact members of the Rugby League family.
In 2019 the NRL publicly pledged its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a
constitutionally enshrined Voice to the Parliament. We understand the importance of
listening to First Nations voices and as such have pledged our support to an important
movement that we believe will have the best chance of providing a meaningful Voice for
First Nations and accelerate reconciliation.
Rugby League has established its own governance structures to ensure that First Nations
voices are heard and form part of the decision-making processes that lead our work in
support of First Nations peoples:
- Since the establishment of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) in 2012,
First Nations peoples have been represented in its membership;
- The Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council (ARLIC), consisting of independent
community members, provides strategic advice to the ARLC and the NRL;
- The Indigenous Players Advisory Group represents the views of the 12% of players that
make up the NRL competition, meeting regularly with the ARLC, NRL and ARLIC on
issues that impact the playing group; and
- An Indigenous Strategy Team that forms an important part of our business and delivers
a range of programs and initiatives, as well as providing strategic direction.
The NRL supports every opportunity to provide a voice to listen to our First Nations
peoples and see this as critical for Australia to move forward as a nation.
For further information regarding our submission, please contact Mark deWeerd, General
Manager – Indigenous Strategy.
Chief Executive Officer
National Rugby League