Tips on how 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 throughout the globe have caused a lot of Australians to rethink the issues 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 apparent solution – a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

In 2006, Reconciliation Australia introduced RAPs as a way for organisations to include strategic reconciliation initiatives as part of their enterprise plans. The aim of a RAP is to create significant opportunities for your organisation to actively support 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 mirror the place organisations are in their reconciliation journey. They are: Replicate, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each has a corresponding RAP type organisations can pursue. For example, the Innovate level is for organisations that already understand the place they can improve on Indigenous points and have begun taking motion to actively address them.

Step one for all organisations is to find out its maturity level. “Contact the RAP staff at Reconciliation Australia and find out which level you will start at,” says Anthony. “The RAP staff will send you a template that will outline what it is advisable to do. There are some basic compulsory actions required by Reconciliation Australia resembling celebrating national Reconciliation Day and rising knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. After that, it’s concerning the modifications you’ll be able to make.”

Because numerous organisations will start at the Reflect stage, this guide will define the pillars you could establish to start your reconciliation journey.


This is the place it all begins.

It could help to look into why RAPs are so necessary as well as the present issues facing Indigenous people. Reports such as Close the Gap can provide context to your RAP and would possibly help you with the subsequent step.

Safe assist

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

“Most often I find that if individuals are introduced with the info, they beautiful quickly get on board with wanting to be 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 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 flow-on effect. It makes workers more engaged with their community they usually typically select to donate to, or volunteer with, Indigenous organisations as a result.

A RAP also solidifies your organisation’s commitment to creating a culturally safe work environment, 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 following step is to form a working group that will oversee the complete RAP process. This group will must 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 power to make changes in the organisation, and members who understand it from a coverage and culture perspective.

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

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