Recently, several NACC NRM staff had the privilege of attending the weeklong 2021 Reconciliation Action Plan Conference!
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a document that supports an organisation’s business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation, both internally and externally, among the communities in which it operates. A RAP helps build and then strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, organisations and the broader Australian community.
The online RAP conference covered a range of themes, many stemming from strategies to combat racism in the workplace and the community more broadly. Speakers emphasised topics like the bystander effect in taking action against racism, and uncomfortable conversations necessary in order to achieve reconciliation and move forward.
Cultural learning as a workplace enables a more safe and secure environment to start conversations. For organisations that do not have direct contact with the Indigenous community through their operations, it is best to begin with small steps. An example of this might be researching the name of the country where they work and local traditional owners’ language groups.
Discussions later on in the weeklong conference centred around truth-telling. Truth-telling acknowledges the past, reflects honestly on the present and looks towards the future for healing and meaningful, lasting changes in attitudes.
Implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan within a workplace’s organisational structure is an important step in reconciliation efforts. It helps cement organisational ideals as key values so that these values can be embedded in organisational behaviours.