Basketball Australia announces Indigenous lead appointment

Aiming to create better opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be involved with the sport at all levels, Basketball Australia has announced that it has engaged Paul Vandenbergh as its Indigenous Lead.

Hailing from the far west coast of South Australia, Vandenbergh is part of the Wirangu and Kokatha people and is an ambassador for improving long-term health and well-being outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He is widely respected for his leadership in working with Indigenous youth to ensure they reach their maximum potential both on and off the court.

He also has a passion for sport, particularly basketball having played at the elite level in the NBL for the Canberra Cannons and prior to that being a member of the Melbourne Tigers development squad.

Announcing Vandenbergh’s appointment, Basketball Australia (BA) Chief Executive, Matt Scriven stated “Paul has a wealth of experience that is invaluable to our sport, he is a passionate advocate for creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through education initiatives. We are committed as a business to making every aspect of our pathways inclusive and accessible to everyone.

“Paul has been working as an advisor to BA on the Reconciliation Action Plan and he is keen to deliver outcomes on the opportunities that have been identified. Paul will work closely with Lauren Jackson AO, OLY the Head of Women in Basketball to deliver a new platform that will enable all women and girls to achieve success.

Excited to join the team and continue his long association with basketball, Vandenbergh commented “seeing firsthand how sport can change the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is what drives me every day. Sports can provide so many opportunities to develop leadership skills that are so important for our families and communities to thrive and grow. My role at BA will be to work across all aspects of the business to provide cultural training and awareness and identify opportunities to increase diverse representation.” 

Image (from left): Paul Vandenbergh, Basketball Australia Head of Women Lauren Jackson and Matt Scriven.

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