WA Aboriginal Sports Council (WAASC)

Terms of Reference

1.0 Background

Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Service Delivery: A Discussion Paper, Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation May 2016, identified that a “better Aboriginal sport outcomes group should be established to progress the priorities emerging from the stakeholder engagement process [which informed the Discussion Paper] and advocate for better outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities”.

This Terms of Reference is designed to govern such a group, now referred to as the Western Australian Aboriginal Sports Council (WAASC). Appendix A provides further background.

2.0 Purpose of the WAASC

2.1 Oversee the development of a new sport and culture agenda for Aboriginal people in Western Australia, derived from strategic level aspirations from the Discussion Paper.

2.2 Guide the implementation of the forward agenda.

3.0 Role

3.1 Refine the new agenda premised on the nine outcome areas in the Discussion Paper.

3.2 Provide advice on issues affecting its implementation.

3.3 Identify priority initiatives/actions that will best contribute to the Aboriginal sport and culture agenda.

3.4 Foster input from the Aboriginal community State-wide.

3.5 Encourage policy makers, program facilitators, designers and deliverers to work collaboratively with communities to implement new service delivery practices.

Note - work of the group should be consistent with:

  1. Initiatives being undertaken by the State Government’s Regional Services Reform Unit (Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields regions)
  2. State government investment priorities[1] and the delivery of desired outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.

 [1] Aboriginal Youth Services Investment Reforms May 2015

4.0 Responsibility and Accountability

4.1 The WAASC is a Sport and Recreation-convened group, with executive support provided by Sport and Recreation utilising remaining Federal government transition funding.

4.2 The WAASC’s activities will be focussed on strategy, policy and facilitation as far as practicable.

4.3 The WAASC will aim to improve communication, engagement and information sharing between the Aboriginal community and the sport and recreation industry.

4.4 Decisions and resolutions adopted by the WAASC are not binding on Sport and Recreation or the State Government.

4.5 The WAASC is expected to work professionally and collaboratively in an environment of mutual respect and transparency.

5.0 Membership

5.1 The Aboriginal membership of the WAASC will be established by way of Expression of Interest from the Aboriginal community. Such member ship will be drawn from the State-wide Aboriginal community rather than any specific group, family or organisation.

5.2 Selection criteria:

  1. Recognised by the community as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
  2. Knowledge and understanding of issues affecting Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
  3. Track record in representing all Aboriginal people.
  4. Capacity to provide high level advice and expertise.
  5. Leadership attributes and advocacy skills.
  6. Ability to work effectively as part of a strategically focussed team.

5.3 Sport and Recreation will engage with Aboriginal people in determining the membership.

5.4 The WAASC will comprise up to nine members, including the Chair.

5.5 Not less than six members will be Aboriginal.

5.6 Up to three members will be Sport and Recreation personnel.

6.0 Term of Office

6.1 The interim working group will review membership 12 months from when it first convenes.

6.2 If a member resigns within that period or a vacancy occurs for any other reason, a replacement will be appointed by agreement of group members for the remainder of the term.

7.0 Chair

7.1 The Chair will be elected by the members at its first meeting.

8.0 Meetings

8.1 The schedule will be determined by the members but not less than every two months.

8.2 A quorum consists of not less than 50% of the WAASC membership.

8.3 No proxies are permitted.

9.0 Conflict of Interest

9.1 All WAASC members should recognise and promptly declare to the Chair and other members of the group (in writing) any private or personal interest, that conflicts or may conflict or may appear to others to conflict, with their role, responsibilities or accountabilities.

9.2 A register of declarations will be maintained.

10.0 Out of Pocket Expenses

10.1 Membership of the WAASC is honorary. Sitting fees are not applicable. Reasonable out of pocket expenses (for example, regional travel to attend WAASC meetings in the metropolitan area) may be reimbursed on a case by case basis and agreed prior to the costs being incurred, utilising remaining Federal government transition funding.

10.2 There will not be any costs approved retrospectively.

11.0 Executive Support

11.1 Sport and Recreation will provide executive support.

11.2 Support includes secretarial services such as meeting coordination; distribution of agendas; taking and distribution of minutes; follow up of matters/actions arising; facilitating access to Sport and Recreation/external personnel and relevant records; maintaining the register of conflict declarations and other WAASC records.

12.0 Record of Proceedings

12.1 Meeting agendas should be distributed to WAASC members at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting.

12.2 Minutes of meetings should be distributed to all WAASC members within two weeks of the meeting.

13.0 Amendments to Terms of Reference

15.1 The TOR should be reviewed annually. Any changes are to be mutually agreed between Sport and Recreation and the WAASC.

Note: The WAASC resolved to change its name to Western Australian Aboriginal Sports Council at its meeting on 13 March 2017.

Appendix A


The Federal government ceased funding for the Aboriginal Sport Development Program on 30 June 2015. Subsequently, it provided a further two years funding to enable the (former) Department of Sport and Recreation to develop a new delivery strategy for Aboriginal sport in Western Australia.

In October 2015, Sport and Recreation embarked on a project “to develop clarity of role and relevance for Sport and Recreation regarding Aboriginal participation and involvement in Sport and Recreation/culture”. Extensive stakeholder engagement found that services must be delivered differently in order to meet individual and community aspirations. As well, such service delivery should be based on an acknowledgment that Aboriginal culture and involvement in sport are intrinsically intertwined.

There was a strong desire to establish a “better Aboriginal sport outcomes group”[2] to progress the priorities emerging from the engagement process and advocate for better outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities”. The engagement process identified the following nine desired outcomes:

  • Cultural elements are embedded in program design and delivery.
  • Programs lead to increased participation in non-playing as well as playing roles.
  • There are more relevant and more effective pathways for Aboriginal training and accreditation and subsequent employment in the sport industry.
  • Local mentors and role models are prevalent in Aboriginal communities.
  • Community development principles (including community ownership, empowerment and inclusion) are applied to program design and delivery.
  • Partnerships are created, including within the Aboriginal community, that help enable holistic outcomes to be achieved and community wellbeing enhanced.
  • Aboriginal leadership capability is evident at strategic and operational levels.
  • Structural opportunities are established that enable Aboriginal people to influence and guide sport policy.
  • It is commonplace for non-Aboriginal people to have participated in cultural knowledge and awareness training.

[2] Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Service Delivery: A Discussion Paper Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation May 2016.

Page reviewed 04 July 2019