Connections Nightclub announces reconciliation plan in development

Connections Nightclub have announced that they will be implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan. The decision follows an apology from the venue several weeks ago that addressed the use of blackface in a performance from 2012.

“Connections Nightclub has strived to be inclusive on every level and fought to lead the way for diversity in our part of the world through our venue for four and half decades. In 1975 when Connections opened, it was into a society and system much less tolerant than we find ourselves today with some extremely discriminatory legislation and policies that had, and continue to have, long shadows on race, sexuality, gender identity amongst others,” the venue posted to their Facebook page.

“Connections has a long history of being a safe place of inclusion through these chapters of West Australian history, but we need to take the opportunity today to acknowledge that unfortunately we have not got it right every time, and sometimes we have gotten it very wrong. We have had acts, shows and bookings that on reflection have let ourselves and our community down.”

“In particular, we produced a show not too long ago that contained some cast members presenting in black face. We did not realise just how hurtful and wrong that was at the time. Connections and those involved in this production have apologised for the trauma and pain it caused and need to do so again today.”

“While we have many decades of good memories to remember, we also have so many individual stories and histories that must be reflected on. Since that time we have, and continue to take steps to better inform and educate ourselves, our team and staff. We have seen something in our history, organisation and life and seek to address and counteract it.”

“We encourage our staff and patrons to confront these shared histories and seek to highlight positive change and growth. We are currently seeking to expand our Acknowledgement of Country policy from Fringe to all performances, reevaluate our internal policies and documents and are working with guidance from Reconciliation Australia to develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan for the venue. We can and must do better.” the statement concluded.

Last month, community members raised concerns over Connections’ 2012 production that drew from Ryan Murphy’s musical drama¬†Glee. The show featured performer Feminem in blackface. Apologies were issued by the venue, the performer and OUTinPerth, who had published images of the performance on social media.

OIP Staff

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