Three years ago, one AFL team became the first in the league to launch a roadmap to make meaningful change. 

The Sydney Swans diversity action plan (DAP) tackled four key pillars: disability empowerment, multicultural inclusion, the advancement of women and pride.

With the inaugural DAP expiring this week, the club announced the process to renew it. 

Only a week ago, Star Observer revealed that 75 per cent of Australia believes an LGBTQI person would not be safe as a spectator at a sports game. 

The research from Pride In Sport Australia also showed that 87 per cent of gay men and 75 per cent of lesbians remain completely or partially in the closet while playing youth sport in Australia. 

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 Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley said the club is determined to build upon the learnings and achievements of the past three years, in consultation with the community.

“We’re really proud of the work that we’ve done over the journey, including seeing the Pride Game become an annual fixture, having several staff able to make use of our new paid parental leave scheme, and using our position to educate through advocacy – but there is still so much that we want to do,” he said.

“Our initial DAP Committee comprised a mix of staff and club connections with expertise and experience across our four pillars. 

“We’re now looking to expand on that, by inviting community groups to submit expressions of interest in becoming official DAP partners.”

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 Mr Harley expressed a determination to be “leaders in making positive change,” but acknowledged they are not experts in all areas. 

“Therefore, we are looking to community organisations for guidance,” he said. 

“Together we will deliver more meaningful outcomes aligned with our club values in the years ahead.”

The Sydney Swans will provide a DAP Community Partner framework in early September and invite organisations to submit expressions of interest in becoming a partner.

Once the application period concludes, it will review the applications and select one partner to align with each of our four DAP pillars.

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