and recreation clubs are important to local communities and can be the
best place to encourage positive contact and cooperation between people
from a range of different backgrounds and abilities.
There is great potential for sporting clubs and community groups to
expand their memberships and reduce social isolation, by encouraging
people of diverse backgrounds, abilities and age to join and
The department has a position statement with regard to inclusive participation, this being:
“Sport and Recreation expects all Western Australians to have the
opportunity to participate in sport and recreation activities regardless
of their age, gender, religion, cultural background, sexual
orientation, disability, income or geographical location”.
A copy of the full position statement can be accessed from the website.
Australia is a diverse nation, with Western Australia one of the most
diverse of all the states and territories. In 2011, Western Australia’s
population was 2.2 million people, an increase of 14% from 2006, and
expected to increase further from the 2016 statistics. WA had the
highest proportion of its population (31%) born overseas of all
Australian states and territories, with Perth the highest proportion of
overseas-born (35%) of all Australian capital cities.
WA is home to people from more than 190 countries, speaking
approximately 270 languages and dialects (including around 50 Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander languages). Western Australians follow more
than 130 religious faiths. People from the United Kingdom, Europe,
South-East Asia and the Middle East, and more recently from South Asia
and Africa, have made Western Australia their home, creating a
harmonious environment that respects diversity.
According to the 2011 Census, there were 69,664 Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people living in WA. Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people represent 3.1% of the WA population.
Many culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) groups and
individuals participate in sport, mainly at a social level at schools,
in local parks, with youth groups, after school and with family and
friends from their communities. When comparing structured sports to
social physical activity, participation rates by CaLD people are lower
than people born in Australia.
There is great potential for sporting associations and clubs to
expand their membership by encouraging people of diverse backgrounds to
join and participate. This booklet outlines the benefits of becoming an
inclusive club as well as practical strategies to assist you.
A significant proportion of people who can be classified under the
CaLD umbrella are in fact neither refugees nor migrants, but are second
and even third-generation Australians whose parents or grandparents were
born in non-English-speaking countries. These people face different and
often less challenging barriers to those faced by new migrants and
When considering how your club can be diverse and inclusive,
particular attention should be paid to ensuring that all people are
Aboriginal people can face a number of challenges to participating in
sport and recreation, particularly within a club environment. These
often relate to a lack of understanding of Aboriginal culture, society
and history and can result in a lack of participation.
Some further barriers include:
New migrants and refugees face a range of challenges when attempting
to establish new lives in Australia. These include learning a new
language; adapting to a new education system; lifestyle change; and loss
of family support. Importantly, refugees, may have witnessed or
experienced torture, trauma and extreme violence before being resettled
Some other barriers to participation in sport experienced by refugees include the following:
Everyone has the right to be a part of an inclusive and welcoming
community where their contribution is recognised and valued. People with
disability should have equal opportunity to participate in a mainstream
Participation in community sport or recreation provides an
opportunity to develop physical skills and social connectedness. This
can be a life-changing experience especially for those with limited
Some other barriers to participation in sport experienced by people with disability include the following:
Complete this simple checklist to see how welcoming your club is to
someone who is unfamiliar with the sports structure in Australia.
Complete this simple checklist to see how inclusive your club presently is.
Some clubs may feel that developing new networks, programs and
procedures may be too difficult, too expensive or too time consuming for
already over-stretched volunteers/staff. The skills you would use to
include people from Aboriginal, CaLD or with disability backgrounds are
no different from the program planning you would do for other people. An
inclusive club adapts to the needs of all individuals.
For further information please view each of the low-participation groups individual sections on the website.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.