Artwork by Dianne 'Tictac' Moore, ILF Regional Coordinator.
The ILF was proud to launch our much anticipated Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) yesterday to mark the beginning of Reconciliation Week 2021, and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment as an organisation to reconciliation.
The event took place at Tranby College, Australia’s oldest independent Indigenous education provider, and we were delighted and humbled to launch our RAP in such a remarkable space.
After over a year of research, planning and writing, our RAP Working Group recently put forward a detailed plan for the Foundation, which supports this year’s theme, More than a Word, Reconciliation Takes Action, and will direct our business for the next two years.
Our RAP formalises our Foundation’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and reinforces the values that underpin how we work and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
As part of the process of creating, editing, and now implementing an Innovate RAP, our RAP Working Group got together to reflect on the experience and what the document and its contents means to them moving forward.
“Our first RAP as an organisation was back in 2015,” Program Director Tina tells us. “We were a team of only three people at the time, and we worked to create a RAP based on Reconciliation Australia’s Reflect model. Since then, we’ve grown enormously, and were ready to begin the journey to creating our next RAP based on the Innovate Model.”
“Our team took the time to look at all the different RAPs out there, understand the key pillars and what they mean, and embed meaning into identified actions we included in the plan. I really enjoyed the approach we took and I feel like we learned a lot from the process and from one another.”
For everyone on the RAP Working Group, developing the plan and actions was a new learning process. As the Foundation has grown, everybody at the organisation has started taking responsibility for reconciliation.
Our RAP Working Group believes that the plan and actions included in our RAP will allow our Foundation to work to the best of its ability in pursuit of reconciliation.
“The RAP provides us with an opportunity to do things in a better way, to change things when they’re not right, and respectfully point things out when they’re not working the way the RAP was designed to have them work,” says Customer Relationship Administrator Brad. “I think it’s going to make us be more thoughtful about the decisions we make and to take responsibility for our actions as an organisation."
"I’m optimistic, but I do think there is a great deal of work to be done. We’ve got to be really brave and just a little bit fearless. We can make it work, we just need to be tough.”
Throughout the process of creating the RAP, the Working Group pushed comfort zones to ensure that the plan provided a way for the Foundation to contribute to broader reconciliation in simple and practical ways.
“To see the document come together is pretty incredible, and is really down to the hard work of the RAP Working Group,” says Cindy, Publishing Coordinator.
“We put all the effort into it, and it’s paid off. It’s been created by a very diverse group of people within ILF, and it’s a solid plan for the Foundation to follow. We’ve laid it out clearly, but now there’s a lot of challenges to face up to and a lot of hard work to be done.”
While some actions might be a challenge, ultimately they hold our Foundation accountable to its social responsibilities.
“Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a plan for the whole organisation to be able to work as one, and to have reconciliation drive our actions and work in remote communities,” says Peter, Technology Coordinator.
“Having a RAP is a necessity for any organisation, and for the ILF, it helps to guide us to be what we need to be to do the work we do. The RAP Working Group has taken the time to listen and communicate, be respectful and do the process properly. It’s been fun, exciting and thoughtful, and I’m proud to have been involved.”
Our RAP Working Group would like to thank a number of people for their advice, guidance and contributions to our Reconciliation Action Plan.
Our thanks to Debra Dank (ILF Cultural Ambassador and academic at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Gudanji woman), Sharon Galleguillos (former Director of the ILF Board and Indigenous academic at the University of Sydney), ILF Board Member Leitha Assan (Cultural Advocate & Curator of First Nations Art, Badhu ipikaz [woman]) and Dianne ‘Tictac’ Moore (Tiwi woman and ILF Regional Coordinator).
Read our RAP in its entirety here. If you are interested in creating a Reconciliation Action Plan at your workplace, find more information on the Reconciliation Australia website.
This blog post was written by RAP Working Group member Elizabeth Arrigo.