You may have heard about the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). What is it, and why is it important for your business?
Destination Byron recognises the rich heritage of Byron Shire, the cultural significance of the Traditional Aboriginal Custodians – the Bundjalung Arakwal people, who have lived in the coastal landscape around the Byron Bay area for at least 22,000 years. Not only is the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage and environment important, but further awareness is needed on practical actions as a business, that will contribute to the national reconciliation movement (RAP).
But first, what IS reconciliation?
At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
“… A reconciled Australia is one where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter …”
Kirstie Parker – Board Member, Reconciliation Australia
What is a RAP?
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement.
No matter where your organisation is on its reconciliation journey, they offer a RAP to suit. Workplaces can be supported to develop one of four types of RAP—Reflect, Innovate, Stretch or Elevate.
A RAP is a strategic document that supports an organisation’s business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive your company’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which it operates.
The RAP Program contributes to advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation by supporting organisations to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Each of the four RAP types (Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate) set out the minimum elements required from your organisation to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within your organisation and community.
What does a good one look like?
Locally, Southern Cross University have produced an exceptional RAP. Presented is a creative, innovative plan with a strong and committed focus to making a difference in Aboriginal and Torres Strait higher education.
You’ll also find other examples on a range of organisations throughout Australia on the Reconciliation Australia website.
The development of a formalised RAP will demonstrate an ongoing commitment to supporting these initiatives and championing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The focus is on ensuring that there are adequate support systems available to facilitate access to higher learning opportunities and employment.
How do I go about doing one?
First step, is check whether a RAP is right for your business.
- Select your RAP type.
- Establish a RAP Working Group.
- Register your interest or start your RAP using the online form. Once this is completed, Reconciliation Australia will send you further guides, resources, templates and instructions.
More questions on how, why and when? You’ll find a list of commonly asked questions here.
By implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan, your business will help drive change and action by building on relationships, respect and opportunities.
We feel the time is now.
Courtesy Reconciliation Australia