Wood-Kenney appointed chair of RAP Community Reference Group


Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob has praised the City of Joondalup’s Reconciliation Action Plan Community Reference Group (RAPCRG) for appointing Sharon Wood-Kenney as its inaugural chair.

A proud Noongar Yamatji woman, Wood-Kenney is a respected member of the community who has played a key role in the development of local young people, primarily through football.

Inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame (sports category) earlier this year, Wood-Kenney founded the Djinda Falcons program in 2012; a unique program offered to Aboriginal youth aged between 11-15 years who live in the West Perth Football Club district.

She is the founder/general manager of the Djinda Bridiya Wellbeing Australian Aboriginal Organisation Foundation and has co-designed family and domestic violence hubs.

A recent Leadership WA alumni – nominated as Valedictorian – Wood-Kenney is the president of Ocean Ridge Football Club and is currently working on the West Australian Football Commission’s own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Perhaps most importantly she is a proud family woman, wife and mum of four.
The RAPCRG, which held its first two meetings in November and December, has been tasked with guiding the development of the City’s RAP, improving relationships with Aboriginal people and relevant stakeholders as well as fostering a better understanding of Aboriginal cultures, rights and experiences.

Mayor Jacob said Wood-Kenney’s appointment as RAPCRG chair was a unanimous decision by its membership.

“A proud Aboriginal woman, Sharon is highly respected for her community mindedness, her integrity, strong work ethic and dedication to positive reconciliation outcomes,” he said.

“She is driven by an aspiration to improve the mental and physical health of young people in our community – with a particular focus on Indigenous youth – and using football as a vehicle for young people to express themselves in a positive way.

“I am confident Sharon will help the City achieves its vision for reconciliation through the development of a RAP that is based on practical actions built on relationships, respect and opportunity.”

The development, endorsement and implementation of the City’s RAP aims to:

  • Formalise the City’s commitment to reconciliation
  • Strengthen meaningful links with Aboriginal people through ongoing, effective and respectful connections;
  • Bring a sense of vision and purpose to the City’s current suite of reconciliation contributions;
  • Foster a culturally safe, understanding, welcoming and respectful workplace and community;
  • Bring positive behavioural and attitudinal change through partnerships and cultural celebration; and
  • Create ongoing conversation and engagement.

It is estimated there are more than 650 registered RAPs in Australia and more than 500 in development.

Wood-Kenney replaces Mayor Jacob, who acted as the interim chair until the RAPCRG was able to formally nominate a chair.

The next RAPCRG meeting date is likely to occur in February 2021.