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Footy club boss backs Indigenous history less -

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PETER CAVE: The general manager of the Adelaide Crows AFL Club John Reid has appealed to big
businesses around Australia to learn about Aboriginal culture and apply reconciliation in a
practical sense to the way they work.

Today is the start of Reconciliation Week and John Reid says he is embarrassed to admit that he has
only recently researched Aboriginal history and culture.

But he says taking advice from the team's star Aboriginal defenders, Andrew McLeod and Graham
Johncock, has made an enormous difference to the way he runs the football club.

As he told Nance Haxton in Adelaide.

JOHN REID: I think what really prompted it was seven Aboriginal lads in our midst last year, six
this year. We came across a couple of situations which we needed to address and we really didn't
have the understanding, we twigged to that fairly quickly.

And Andrew McLeod, Graham Johncock, we sat down with them and they sort of said, "Well let's see if
we can, if you guys actually understand this a bit more, you will get more out, you know, we will
be able to give more". And that is pretty well how is evolved.

NANCE HAXTON: That has even helped this year with events that have happened since Graham Johncock,
sadly his mum died and so that has helped with the way the club handled that?

JOHN REID: Oh, without a doubt. Previously I would have been saying to Graham, well why do you need
that much time off? Getting an idea of how they cope with death and how the responsibilities of
Graham as the eldest son, it become not a problem. It was, we understood what he had to do and what
his responsibilities were. It made it easy for us to say, "Well do it. When you are ready come
back".

Graham, he's better because he doesn't feel under pressure from us and again we are all better off.

NANCE HAXTON: Are these lessons that can be applied to other businesses in the community, do you
think?

JOHN REID: Oh, no doubt at all. Business has got some responsibility firstly to getting people on
board, Aboriginal women and men on board, and then when you do that, not just a token effort get
them on board, actually take some responsibility to understand what they are on about.

And I mean if we... look we're not going to solve all the problems of this in our generations and
that is why again, we really need to educate our young people so that they grow up with some
understanding and we do that, I think we are going to get there.

NANCE HAXTON: But I think from your personal perspective too you've shown that you can come to this
later in life as well.

JOHN REID: Well, you can and again I feel a bit embarrassed that it took so bloody long because
they are a part of our nation. We are all in this together and you know, we need to take that on
board and if you do then it's easy to say, well let's learn a bit more about them.

NANCE HAXTON: And it made the Stolen Generation more real as well? Being able to understand that
better from Andrew McLeod's perspective as well?

JOHN REID: Oh yeah. That was one of the most emotional moments I have been involved in. To actually
understand how much that affected Andrew and his mother, so from that perspective, you know the
Stolen Generation again, it was all quiet. You know, you never heard it was all pushed under the
carpet really and as it's evolved and then when you get someone who has been actually directly
involved, yeah it makes a big difference.

NANCE HAXTON: And your final message today was really for people not to leave it so long to get
involved?

JOHN REID: I think, 10 years, five years of age, 50 years of age, age is really not the criteria to
learn. You can do it at any age.

PETER CAVE: John Reid from the Adelaide Football Club speaking to Nance Haxton in Adelaide.