Advocacy in Action - Reconciliation Action Plan

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Each year, the Committee for Perth responds to Reconciliation Australia’s Impact Measurement Questionnaire, as part of our commitment to Reconciliation through our 2016-2018 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This reporting tool allows Reconciliation Australia to determine the collective impact that RAP’s are making Australia wide.  

The Committee for Perth began our RAP journey in 2009 when we made a Statement of Commitment to reconciliation. Since then, we have renewed our commitment to reconciliation through our successive RAPs in 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15 and our current 2016-18 Stretch RAP. The reporting process provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the commitments outlined in our RAP and assess what we have achieved, what we are working towards or those that we will be able to achieve by 2018.  

This year, reconciliation has been especially important, with the acknowledgement of two significant milestones in Australia’s history. 2017 marks 50 years since the referendum, which for the first time, recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Census and gave them a number of rights not previously granted. In addition, 25 years have now passed since the 1992 Mabo decision, which ultimately led to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the Traditional Owners of the land that we share today.  

Some of the initiatives we have undertaken over the past 12 months to progress our Reconciliation agenda have been: 

  • Holding Welcome to Country’s or Blessing of Events at all of our major public events, which recognises the Traditional Owners of the land; 
  • Celebrating National Reconciliation Week through a number of events, including an in-house staff event to discuss the importance of the two historic milestones above, attending the Terrace Walk for Reconciliation and sponsoring a banner and attending the launch of the Perth Banner Program; 
  • Raising international awareness of natural Australian ingredients used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders during our bi-annual study tour  by providing Boolamarr Hand Sanitiser samples as gifts; 
  • Discussing the Committee’s Reconciliation journey since 2007 and providing an overview of our progress in achieving each of the targets contained within our successive RAPs in our FACTBase Special Report, Committee for Perth – A Decade of Positive Impact
  • Holding a Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon event to discuss the Noongar Six Seasons calendar with Dr Richard Walley OAM, and recapping on key learnings through our monthly newsletter article;  
  • Discussing the significance of Australia Day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders during our May Board Meeting and at a subsequent RAP Sub-Committee meeting with a view to forming a position statement; and 
  • Celebrating Indigenous culture during our new office opening with Noongar Elder Prof. Len Collard, who provided a Welcome to Country for attendees and commemorated the occasion by naming the new office Katata Boordier, meaning ‘Thought Leader’. 

At the Committee’s end of year function, to be held on 13 December, we look forward to sharing an updated Welcome to Country guide for all members. The guide was initially developed in 2009 to assist businesses in understanding how to appropriately acknowledge Aboriginal people and culture in Western Australia. The update was undertaken with assistance from our Indigenous consultant, Dr Richard Walley OAM and contains information about the origin of the Welcome to Country.  

Read our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2018.


Other articles from Insight, October 2017 (view email newsletter):