Collingwood has appointed a group to address a culture of “systemic racism” at the AFL club amid the fallout from a report that led to the resignation of long-time president Eddie McGuire.
A 12-person anti-racism advisory group, which includes former Magpies player Daniel Wells, AFL inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch and Magpies director Jodie Sizer, will be tasked with assisting the club to develop a framework for change.
The move was one of the key recommendations of the Do Better report which earlier this month found there was “systemic racism” at the club.
In a statement on Wednesday, Collingwood said its Expert Group on Anti-Racism will advise the club’s board on the development of an improved framework for responding to incidents of racism and on the creation and implementation of anti-racism policies.
The Do Better report was sparked by the testimony of former Collingwood player Héritier Lumumba who said he was subjected to racist nicknames and was ostracised by the club when he spoke out. Lumumba has said the report vindicated his concerns but the club’s response was “shameful”.
Sizer told Guardian Australia on Wednesday the expert group would not shy away from the club’s “battle scars”.
“Because there are things that we do need to be sorry for and coming to reconcile that does require truth, justice and healing,” Sizer said.
“We are in a position to be able to do something, with absolute commitment from the board through the whole club. This advisory group will provide the expertise and capability, and also an accountability function.
“Across the 12 months – it’s a pretty fast implementation process to get things set up for the longer term – it’s going to require different expertise along the way. So this group doesn’t do all the doing. Whilst they’re rolling their sleeves up and joining onboard the journey, they will be engaging experts to assist us in the doing.”
Sizer said the group had “high-caliber” people from community leadership roles, academia and diverse backgrounds. She said Collingwood also had “deep expertise” on the club’s Reconciliation Action Group who would contribute along with player representatives.
Yawuru woman Taryn Lee has been appointed as the strategic advisor to assist with the implementation of all 18 recommendations from the Do Better report.
Lee has worked at an executive level in government and private sector roles and is a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
The group will convene for the first time in March.
Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson said the club “will be rightfully measured by these actions”.
“We need to think differently about how we approach and deal with racism and to ensure that we have the right systems in place to provide a safe cultural environment for all,” Anderson said.
“We have the will to respond to each and every recommendation contained in the Do Better report.”