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A letter from CEO Christine Finnegan

02 Nov
3 mins read

Dear JackJumpers family,

The past week has been one of the most difficult in the club’s short history, and I acknowledge that many people have been impacted.

I wanted to write to you to address and further explain the issues around the club’s Indigenous Jersey and the ongoing commentary.

The JackJumpers are committed to doing everything we can to rectify the mistakes that have been made and working towards a more educated, respectful and culturally-aware future, and ensure our processes are sound and values-driven.

Our Organisation stands on 5 pillars, two of which centre around our community – “to be community minded” and “grow the game of basketball”.

They are not just words on paper - we live by it.

To Defend the Island means that we represent ALL Tasmanians on the national and international sporting stage in a way that makes Tasmanians proud. 

Our mantra to Defend the Island is backed by our values of authenticity and humility, just like the people in this wonderful State we represent.

We acknowledge the release of this year’s Indigenous Round Jersey caused division across the Aboriginal community which was never the club’s intention.

In early 2023, the club invited expressions of interest for Aboriginal artists to design the jersey, from which 18 Aboriginal artists applied and Reuben Oates was chosen on artistic merit.

However, when issues around the final design were raised and we were questioned on our approval process I could not truly say that we consulted a wide range of representatives from the communities we were representing but rather followed an internal process with the artist. 

That is the heart of the issue. We are young and we are learning however the fact that we failed to consult widely does not align with the values and behaviours we hold ourselves accountable to and for that we apologize. 

The Club stands with and is inclusive of all Tasmanian people, one of which is Rueben Oates.

Rueben is a fantastic Aboriginal artist and we want to thank him for his work with the club over the past eight months.  We will continue to engage with Reuben in the future.

We understand there is varying views on the decision and the associated issues however we ask that you always remain respectful and humble in your response and continue to stand with us to Defend the Island.

Rest assured, we are undertaking a full review of our processes, and we will be listening to community feedback and working with key stakeholder groups as part of this review. 

If you do wish to provide meaningful remarks to inform our review and ongoing processes, we ask that you email enquiries@jackjumpers.com.au and outline your comments.

On Saturday evening we will be celebrating the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional and continuing custodians of Lutruwita, during the NBL Indigenous Round, with a live Welcome to Country and a performance by the super talented Denni at half-time.

As always, we appreciate your ongoing support in helping us to Defend the Island.

Go JackJumpers.

With respect and kindness,

Christine

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