Study shows value of Aboriginal Club

New La Trobe study shows unique Aboriginal Sport Club offers big financial and social return

New research from La Trobe’s Centre for Sport and Social Impact (CSSI) looked at the social value of Shepparton’s Rumbalara Football Netball Club – and found for every $1 invested in cash, volunteer time and other resources to run the club, it generated at least $5.45 return in social value to the community

Rumbalara is the only Aboriginal run community sport club in Victoria.

Findings from the study showed its strong value for individuals and the greater Shepparton population through

  • Increased social connectedness, wellbeing and mental health status of members and others in the community
  • Employment outcomes for Indigenous members
  • Personal development and improved fitness of those involved
  • Wellbeing and pride amongst Indigenous community associated with the club
  • Support for the delivery of non-sport programs for Indigenous communities in the greater Shepparton region

Report author La Trobe’s Professor Russell Hoye said the findings are significant.

‘This club operates with cultural authority led by Indigenous leaders from the community. Because of this, it’s able to successfully engage at-risk groups and help support their education, employment and reduce the likelihood of substance abuse and social isolation.’

Rumbalara Club President Paul Briggs OAM said the club is much more than a sports facility.

‘We offer community focussed activities aimed at improving the mental and physical wellbeing of the Indigenous population. Rumbalara has helped reduce youth suicide rates among our community and has helped individuals with their schooling and job placements. The club is also contributing to developing a generation of Indigenous leaders.’

In December 2013 the Club was awarded one of only two awards in the top category at the National Crime Prevention Award from the Commonwealth Justice Minister for driving a 76% reduction in Indigenous youth engagement in the justice system in the Shepparton region from 2008 to 2013.

Professor Hoye said the La Trobe study shows the Rumbalara FNC is a model of a successful program that’s clearly improving the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.

‘This is because it’s driven by the Indigenous community and built on the Indigenous values of family connection and culture. This type of club is something to celebrate and emulate. We hope these findings contribute to the League looking at supporting the development of more clubs like Rumbalara,’Professor Hoye said.

Media; Catherine Garrett 9479 6565/ 0418 964 325