Essendon Football Club has proudly unveiled its fourth Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this week, after the document was officially endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

Taking the next step in the Bombers’ reconciliation journey, the basis of the plan continues to centre on the promotion of unity, and in essence bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians together.

The club’s new Stretch RAP, formally unveiled at The Long Lunch at Crown Aviary on Thursday, will span the next three years, inclusive of August 2021 to August 2023, and includes 22 actions with several deliverables associated to each action.

The Bombers were the first sporting club in Australia to launch a RAP in 2009.

CEO Xavier Campbell said the club was proud to unveil a fourth iteration of its RAP since 2009.

“The Essendon Football Club has a very long, proud and genuine history with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities,” Campbell said.

“Through the likes of pioneers like 'Longy' (Michael Long) and 'Sheeds' (Kevin Sheedy), this football club has helped forge and ultimately influence the AFL landscape by providing pathways, celebrating culture and fighting racism. 

“Our organisation clearly has a strong connection with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, but this is still not enough. We are committed to continuing to build on this.

“In our bid to improve race relations, educate staff and the broader community and promote equality and equity, a dedicated team of Essendon staff from all areas of our business across both the football program and administration staff, as well as local Aboriginal Elders, will make up our RAP working group. This will help to ensure the successful delivery of these dedicated actions.

"Uniquely, we will also be embedding our RAP actions into the club’s new five-year strategic plan and into the performance plan of our own staff to ensure clear accountabilities.

“We are proud of this true and genuine integration into our business model and broader club.”