The best way to 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 a whole lot of Australians to rethink the problems affecting Indigenous communities.

The health, wealth and employment gaps between Indigenous Australians and the rest 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 Gap targets including reducing Indigenous incarceration rates.

For organisations that feel the urgency act there may be 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 part of their business plans. The purpose of a RAP is to create meaningful opportunities for 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 4 maturity levels that replicate where organisations are in their reconciliation journey. They are: Mirror, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Every has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For example, the Innovate stage is for organisations that already understand the place they will improve on Indigenous issues and have begun taking action to actively address them.

Step one for all organisations is to find out its maturity level. “Contact the RAP workforce at Reconciliation Australia and find out which stage you’ll start at,” says Anthony. “The RAP group will ship you a template that will define what you have to do. There are some fundamental obligatory actions required by Reconciliation Australia similar to celebrating nationwide Reconciliation Day and growing knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s about the adjustments you possibly can make.”

Because a lot of organisations will start on the Replicate stage, this guide will outline the pillars you need to set up to start your reconciliation journey.


This is where it all begins.

It could possibly assist to look into why RAPs are so necessary as well as the current points facing Indigenous people. Reports equivalent to Close the Hole can provide context to your RAP and might assist you to with the following step.

Secure assist

Part of a profitable RAP is establishing help for reconciliation initiatives across your complete organisation. In most cases this needs to start at the top.

“Most often I discover that if persons are offered with the info, they pretty quickly get on board with desirous to be a part of the reconciliation movement,”

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals are three per cent of the population. They can’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 worker understanding of Indigenous points, the Reconciliation Australia 2018 RAP Impact report found. This can have a flow-on effect. It makes staff more engaged with their community and so they often choose to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.

A RAP additionally solidifies your organisation’s commitment to making a culturally safe work atmosphere, 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 next step is to kind a working group that will oversee the entire RAP process. This group will need to be made up of assorted representatives from all sectors of your organisation.

The group is in command of planning and implementing the RAP, so it might want to consist of members who’ve some precise power to make adjustments in the organisation, and members who understand it from a policy and culture perspective.

Lastly, for the RAP to be really profitable, you’ll want involvement from members who work with customers or clients, so that individuals outside your organisation understand you are trying to make a difference.

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