RMIT University Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow Dr Elizabeth Kath collaborated with Brazilian and Australian partners to exchange local knowledge about the potential of sport.
VISUAL: RMIT University Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow Dr Elizabeth Kath collaborated with Brazilian and Australian partners to exchange local knowledge about the potential of sport to foster reconciliation and community resilience.
Narration: This project was designed and implemented by myself and Pippa Grange, from Bluestone Edge with help from a range of people at RMIT, Richmond Football Club, Korin Gamadji Institute and many others.
It comes out of a series of projects that have developed over the past five or six years that are called reconciliation exchanges.
Global reconciliation is devoted to exploring how everyday practices such as health, education, sport, the arts, can become vehicles for reconcilliation, for changing the way people interact with one another, or see one another, or engage with one another for social inclusion work and for promoting social change.
The values of reconciliation that we talk about in the research that underpins this project, things like respect, equality, reciprocity, survival and protection, being able to actually
maintain a spirit of integrity and responsibility.
They were on display in every possible way.
I can relate to where these young kids are coming from because when I was younger, the sport in regards to MMA, Boxing and Football showed me the leadership and the responsibilities and took me down the path that I actually needed to go down to be the person I am today.
During the week we've realized that leadership has another dimension which is something that we've never really discussed - patience, resolve and compassion, they've appeared time and time again.
Interesting to see the international language of sport. Even though we didn't speak the same verbal language; as soon as we brought Footballs and Soccer Balls out, the kids were playing around and we seemed to have this common bond and I think that's what we are trying to achieve here. We are not trying to change the world, it's about bringing people together and it can start something.
We had a very profound inter-cultural exchange on the first day that we arrived.
That included a presentation by the indigenous Australia participants in our group to represent Australia.
The told stories about Indigenous culture, they played didgeridoo and performed a war cry and in exchange the local community in Penya performed Capoeira and Samba and talked about their own community. It was really quite moving for everyone involved; I think on both sides and the director of the organization I visited said that community is still talking months later about that experience.
There's something very powerful about outsiders coming to a place who are willing to sit and listen and learn and have good will and are genuinely interested in engaging and hearing the
stories of those they visit.
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