Guide to Inclusion - Step 2

Building Understanding and Competence in Leaders

Building relationships with community leaders is crucial for achieving diversity and inclusion goals.

Community leaders can bridge, link, mediate between different communities to promote an activity, produce change and reduce misunderstandings.

In identifying your community leaders the key characteristics are:

  1. Trust and respect of the community.
  2. Knowledge of values, beliefs, customs, social and political factors.
  3. Knowledge of any current community issues impacting participation.

The community leaders you select to work with must understand the benefits of involvement in sports and must understand, or be interested in learning about, cricket.

Seek recommendations to identify community leaders from community leaders, local councils, youth groups, existing community groups, migrant resource centres, settlement services, land councils and organisations such as Blind Cricket, AusRapid, Special Olympics and Deaf Cricket.

A Sport for All - Tips for Engaging Digital Leaders

  • Work with leaders to Identify barriers to participation - see Table on p.84. The best way to build knowledge and trust is to spend time having "a yarn" with local community leaders. Building strong networks through consistent interaction builds trust and maintains consistency.
  • Support Community events - community leaders often run community events, open days, functions and celebrations and mourning days and supporting them are a great way to build rapport.
  • Community protocols - understand dietary preferences, dress, religious days, good days for sport, preferred modes of communication. Specific information on each community group can be found under the Diversity Guide early in this resource.
  • Know the Calendar - Develop calendar of key community events, times of year, days of week to work with or avoid when scheduling. Community leaders can work with you to ensure your events are on appropriate dates. Calendars of multicultural dates can usually be obtained from your state multicultural offices.

Cater for

  1. Language - For multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, work with community leaders to establish what languages are spoken and if translation is desired.
  2. Gender - For girls, know the ins and outs of mixed-sex participation:
  3. Remote Indigenous - For remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, understand the permit system:
  4. Disability:

Specific requirements

Keep your word - maintain good communication and always follow through on agreements or decisions.
Be patient - do not rush. Community groups may not work to your deadlines and they may also have other important demands on their time that you may not be aware of. Sometimes early engagement activities may not be well supported if trust is not in place. Be flexible and allow sufficient time for the engagement.


Apy Lands / Aboriginal Cricket Officer

Members of the SACA North West Regional Team travelled to the APY Lands in June 2014 with the SANFL to deliver cricket to four remote Aboriginal communities.

Over the course of four days, approximately 100 children were involved in the program. The trip laid the foundations for the establishment of the Aboriginal Cricket Officer role at the South Australian Cricket Association, which will lead the strategy and delivery of cricket across regional and remote South Australia.

Case Study Tips:

  1. Work with organisations who are already engaged with communities.
  2. Be patient with processes.
  3. Be prepared to travel to remote locations.
  4. Be respectful. Ask questions and learn about the community.
  5. Be flexible and adapt with all aspects of program delivery.
  6. Deliver with the support of key stakeholders/leaders in the community.
  7. Maintain contact and communication with communities beyond program deployment.

Engagement Barriers and Strategies

Level of Awareness
  • Value + Understanding - it is essential that a community's ways of knowing, doing and being are valued.
  • Awareness goes two ways. It is equally important that members of diverse communities are aware of the cricket community's values.
  • Highlight and use role models.
  • Meet with community leaders and Elders.
  • Pay as you go - Offer casual participation options (i.e. pay as you play).
  • Grants programs - Be aware of all grants programs to subsidise playing costs at local council, state and federal level.
  • Club equipment - Have free team kit available for use.
Time (Capacity)
  • Alternate scheduling and pathways.
  • Offer programs in the 3 hour “Entertainment Window”, with flexible commitment levels.
Competence(Skill + Confidence)
  • Offer "fun" and mixed competitions, non-competitive versions - everybody is guaranteed to have a bowl and a bat.
  • Provide introductory materials in language and instructional DVDs.
Cultural Appropriateness
  • Translate essentials into key languages or alternative communication forms such as Braille or audio. Ensure translators are suitably qualified; poor translations can create major misunderstandings or ridicule.
  • Offer planning and design of social activities opportunities to diverse communities.
  • Sensitive food/beverage selection. Ask about preferences. Explain the 'bring a plate' custom.
  • Provide opportunities for participant feedback on club environment inclusivity and any gaps to be addressed.
  • Strictly policed member protection policies, transparent dispute resolution procedures.
Logistics (Equipment, Facilities, Transport
  • Have clean equipment available for use/loan.
  • Make tracksuit pants/modest uniforms allowable.
  • Appropriate design and fit out of facilities. e.g. separate change facilities with level of privacy, disability access.
  • Local Council bus partnership, car-pooling, select centrally located venues, use schools after hours.
  • Help communities create their own environment. e.g. Girls bringing their own music - can ease tension, create talking points and commonalities.
  • Reiterate that Cricket is a non-contact sport.
  • Working With Children / police checks - Ensure all key club members have current checks completed.
  • Membership Protection Officer - Ensure your club has a dedicated Membership Protection Officer who is the point of contact if any issues occur.
  • Insurance - Have club insurance summary available and send to prospective parents and players.
  • Physical Safety - well lit facilities, First Aid training, defibrillators.
  • Physical injury - Develop and communicate safety guidelines.
Staffing / Volunteers
  • Engage with communities to explain nature and benefits of volunteering.
  • Create fun/simple/quick volunteering entry point.
  • Offer committee membership opportunities to diverse communities.
  • Explain gender equality in Australian society to males from cultures with strong gender separation customs. Males from such culture smay be uncomfortable taking instructions from girls and women or working with girls and women as equals.
  • Provide a 'female friendly' environment and programs - female coaches, staff, volunteers and umpires.