Reconciliation Action Plans are about taking good intent and turning it into action.
The Black Lives Matter protests which have erupted across the globe have caused plenty of Australians to rethink the issues affecting Indigenous communities.
The health, wealth and employment gaps between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the population are well known, but the protests created new urgency to do something about them.
In July, the Australian government unveiled new Shut the Hole targets including reducing Indigenous incarceration rates.
For organisations that really feel the urgency act there is one obvious solution – a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
In 2006, Reconciliation Australia introduced RAPs as a way for organisations to include strategic reconciliation initiatives as a part of their enterprise plans. The aim of a RAP is to create significant opportunities to your organisation to actively assist and recognise Indigenous Australians. Like many initiatives, reconciliation is a process that can evolve as you and your organisation begin to take action.
RAPs are broken down into 4 maturity levels that reflect the place organisations are of their reconciliation journey. They’re: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For example, the Innovate stage is for organisations that already understand the place they’ll improve on Indigenous issues and have begun taking motion to actively address them.
The first step for all organisations is to determine its maturity level. “Contact the RAP team at Reconciliation Australia and discover out which stage you will start at,” says Anthony. “The RAP team will send you a template that will define what it’s essential do. There are some fundamental compulsory actions required by Reconciliation Australia equivalent to celebrating national Reconciliation Day and increasing knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s in regards to the modifications you’ll be able to make.”
Because quite a lot of organisations will start on the Reflect stage, this guide will outline the pillars you should establish to start your reconciliation journey.
This is where it all begins.
It might probably help to look into why RAPs are so vital as well as the present issues dealing with Indigenous people. Reports such as Close the Gap can provide context to your RAP and may enable you to with the next step.
Part of a successful RAP is establishing help for reconciliation initiatives throughout your entire organisation. In most cases this must start at the top.
“Most frequently I discover that if individuals are offered with the info, they beautiful quickly get on board with eager to be part of the reconciliation movement,”
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three per cent of the population. They will’t do the heavy lifting in terms of change and infrastructure change, societal change, or changing 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 points, the Reconciliation Australia 2018 RAP Impact report found. This can have a stream-on effect. It makes employees more engaged with their community and they typically choose to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.
A RAP also solidifies your organisation’s commitment to creating a culturally safe work setting, 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 next step is to form a working group that can oversee the entire RAP process. This group will have to be made up of various representatives from all sectors of your organisation.
The group is in control of planning and implementing the RAP, so it might want to include members who’ve some actual energy to make modifications within the organisation, and members who understand it from a policy and culture perspective.
Lastly, for the RAP to be really successful, you’ll want involvement from members who work with clients or shoppers, so that folks outside your organisation understand you are attempting to make a difference.
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