The 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 which have erupted across 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 inhabitants are well known, but the protests created new urgency to do something about them.

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

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

In 2006, Reconciliation Australia launched RAPs as a way for organisations to include strategic reconciliation initiatives as a part of their enterprise plans. The aim of a RAP is to create significant opportunities on your organisation to actively help and recognise Indigenous Australians. Like many initiatives, reconciliation is a process that can evolve as you and your organisation start to take action.

RAPs are broken down into 4 maturity levels that reflect the place organisations are in their reconciliation journey. They are: Mirror, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For example, the Innovate degree is for organisations that already understand the place they can improve on Indigenous issues and have begun taking motion to actively address them.

The first step 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 staff will send you a template that can outline what it’s worthwhile to do. There are some basic compulsory actions required by Reconciliation Australia comparable to celebrating nationwide Reconciliation Day and growing knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s in regards to the adjustments you possibly can make.”

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


This is the place it all begins.

It might assist to look into why RAPs are so vital as well as the present issues facing Indigenous people. Reports similar to Close the Gap can provide context to your RAP and might aid you with the next step.

Secure assist

Part of a successful RAP is establishing help for reconciliation initiatives across your entire organisation. In most cases this must start on the top.

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

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons 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 altering attitudes.

“RAPs are a way of stepping in and making significant change.”

Over 1,000 organisations have formalised RAPs, and their implementation has had a real impact on improving employee understanding of Indigenous issues, the Reconciliation Australia 2018 RAP Impact report found. This can have a movement-on effect. It makes staff more engaged with their community and they often select to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.

A RAP additionally solidifies your organisation’s commitment to creating 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.

Establish a working group

The next step is to form a working group that may oversee the entire RAP process. This group will should be made up of assorted 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 energy to make adjustments 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 purchasers, so that individuals outside your organisation understand you are trying to make a difference.

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