Reconciliation Action Plans are about taking good intent and turning it into action.
The Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted throughout the globe have caused a number of Australians to rethink the problems affecting Indigenous communities.
The health, wealth and employment gaps between Indigenous Australians and the remainder of the population are well known, however the protests created new urgency to do something about them.
In July, the Australian authorities unveiled new Close the Gap targets together with reducing Indigenous incarceration rates.
For organisations that really feel the urgency act there may be one apparent solution – a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
In 2006, Reconciliation Australia introduced RAPs as a way for organisations to include strategic reconciliation initiatives as part of their business plans. The aim of a RAP is to create meaningful opportunities to your organisation to actively help and recognise Indigenous Australians. Like many initiatives, reconciliation is a process that will evolve as you and your organisation start to take action.
RAPs are broken down into 4 maturity levels that mirror where organisations are in their reconciliation journey. They are: Mirror, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Every has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For example, the Innovate level is for organisations that already understand where they will improve on Indigenous issues and have begun taking action to actively address them.
Step one for all organisations is to determine its maturity level. “Contact the RAP staff at Reconciliation Australia and find out which level you will start at,” says Anthony. “The RAP staff will ship you a template that may outline what you need to do. There are some fundamental compulsory actions required by Reconciliation Australia resembling celebrating nationwide Reconciliation Day and increasing knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s about the changes you may make.”
Because lots of organisations will start on the Replicate stage, this guide will outline the pillars it is advisable establish to start your reconciliation journey.
This is the place it all begins.
It may possibly help to look into why RAPs are so vital as well as the current points dealing with Indigenous people. Reports resembling Shut the Hole can provide context to your RAP and may assist you with the subsequent step.
A part of a profitable RAP is establishing assist for reconciliation initiatives throughout the complete organisation. In most cases this needs to start at the top.
“Most often I find that if people are presented with the info, they pretty quickly get on board with desirous to be a part of the reconciliation movement,”
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals are three per cent of the population. They will’t do the heavy lifting in terms of change and infrastructure change, societal change, or altering attitudes.
“RAPs are a way of stepping in and making meaningful change.”
Over 1,000 organisations have formalised RAPs, and their implementation has had a real impact on improving worker understanding of Indigenous issues, the Reconciliation Australia 2018 RAP Impact report found. This can have a circulation-on effect. It makes staff more engaged with their community and so they usually select to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.
A RAP additionally solidifies your organisation’s commitment to creating a culturally safe work surroundings, which expands your recruiting pool by making your workplace a more attractive employer to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander employees.
Establish a working group
The subsequent step is to form a working group that can oversee the complete RAP process. This group will must be made up of varied representatives from all sectors of your organisation.
The group is accountable for planning and implementing the RAP, so it might want to include members who’ve some precise energy to make changes within the organisation, and members who understand it from a policy and culture perspective.
Lastly, for the RAP to be really successful, you’ll need involvement from members who work with customers or shoppers, so that people outside your organisation understand you are attempting to make a difference.
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