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Statement from the Newcastle Knights Aboriginal Advisory Group

The members of the Newcastle Knights Aboriginal Advisory Group endorse the actions undertaken by the Club and the Wests Group in response to a recent incident between a First Nations player and a member of club staff.

Due process was followed, in a way that in our view was respectful of the needs of the player, the staff member, the community and the club. Our group has been provided with the opportunity to provide advice where appropriate and we are satisfied it has been dealt with appropriately.

The club, with the assistance and guidance of the Aboriginal Advisory Group, has undertaken a series of actions in the past, and has committed to more going forward, to ensure it is respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures. What the club is doing here locally is innovative, genuine, inclusive and provides the opportunity to actively participate in the process of reconciliation on a much larger level than just the football field.

Furthermore, we know that the individual at fault on this occasion has had numerous positive interactions with First Nations people and communities historically and has shown regret and contrition for their actions on this occasion.

To walk together through change is very powerful and we acknowledge this as we move forward as a community. We are certain we will have many more positive outcomes than negative ones as we move forward.

This is a great example of how things can be done differently, respectful to people’s feelings, privacy and culture. Our club is proudly leading the way.


The Newcastle Knights Aboriginal Advisory Group was established in late 2021 to work with the Knights on guiding its ongoing engagement with First Nations people and communities, both inside and outside the club.

Its members are Ashley Gordon, Andrew Smith, Nathan Towney, Simone Jordan, Jason Darney, Ron Griffiths, Danny Buderus and Ross Smart.