Sport as a cultural offset in Aboriginal Australia?

L. K. Sheppard, S. B. Rynne, J. M. Willis
  • Annals of Leisure Research, July 2019, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2019.1635895

Sport as a cultural offset in Aboriginal Australia?

What is it about?

The assumption that sport has a ‘natural fit’ with Australian Aboriginal communities has resulted in it being employed as a tool for domestic development within these communities, ie. sport-for-development programs. This paper proposed the notion of cultural offsetting that positions sport as a way of offsetting a variety of losses (e.g. culture, language, identity) – including its feasibility and/or desirability.

Why is it important?

Our use of offsets in relation to Aboriginal Australia in the context of the extractives industry is not original, and our research benefits from the empirical work conducted by a number of scholars in the past decade. However, our use of cultural offsetting as both explanatory and critical frameworks is original and useful, as our account of SfD programmes in the article demonstrates.


Lee Sheppard
University of Queensland

I really hope you enjoy reading this article as much as we enjoyed writing about the new notion of 'cultural offsets' in sport.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jon Michael Willis and Lee Sheppard