How you can create a Reconciliation Action Plan

Reconciliation Action Plans are about taking good intent and turning it into action.

The Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted throughout 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 remainder of the population are well known, however the protests created new urgency to do something about them.

In July, the Australian government unveiled new Shut the Hole targets together with reducing Indigenous incarceration rates.

For organisations that really feel the urgency act there’s one obvious solution – a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

In 2006, Reconciliation Australia launched RAPs as a way for organisations to incorporate strategic reconciliation initiatives as a part of their business plans. The goal 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 may evolve as you and your organisation begin to take action.

RAPs are broken down into four maturity ranges that reflect the place organisations are of their reconciliation journey. They’re: Mirror, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Every has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For instance, the Innovate stage is for organisations that already understand where they’ll improve on Indigenous points and have begun taking action to actively address them.

The first step for all organisations is to determine its maturity level. “Contact the RAP workforce at Reconciliation Australia and discover out which stage you will start at,” says Anthony. “The RAP workforce will ship you a template that can define what you have to do. There are some basic compulsory actions required by Reconciliation Australia akin to celebrating nationwide Reconciliation Day and growing knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s about the changes you can make.”

Because a variety of organisations will start on the Replicate stage, this guide will outline the pillars it’s worthwhile to set up to start your reconciliation journey.


This is the place it all begins.

It may well assist to look into why RAPs are so essential as well as the present issues dealing with Indigenous people. Reports similar to Close the Gap can provide context to your RAP and may make it easier to with the next step.

Secure help

A part of a successful RAP is establishing help for reconciliation initiatives across the complete organisation. In most cases this must start at the top.

“Most frequently I find that if persons are introduced with the info, they pretty quickly get on board with wanting to be a part of the reconciliation movement,”

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals are three per cent of the population. They’ll’t do the heavy lifting when it comes to 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 employee understanding of Indigenous points, the Reconciliation Australia 2018 RAP Impact report found. This can have a stream-on effect. It makes workers more engaged with their community and they typically select to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.

A RAP also solidifies your organisation’s commitment to making 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.

Set up a working group

The following step is to type a working group that can oversee your entire RAP process. This group will must be made up of various representatives from all sectors of your organisation.

The group is answerable for planning and implementing the RAP, so it will need to include members who’ve some precise power to make changes in the organisation, and members who understand it from a policy and tradition perspective.

Lastly, for the RAP to be really successful, you’ll need involvement from members who work with customers or clients, so that folks outside your organisation understand you are attempting to make a difference.

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