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Why develop a RAP?
RAPs are a powerful tool for advancing reconciliation in Australia. MCC is amongst thousands of other corporate, community and government organisations committed to reconciliation through the RAP framework. RAPs are nationally recognised through Reconciliation Australia’s standard endorsement process, its model provide a structure for workplaces to formalise its commitments to reconciliation through shared values and action plan outcomes in its pursuit of advancing reconciliation.
RAP’s is a best practice mechanism to generate good intentions into positive actions. The hope is the building of greater understanding between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians and Non Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians. Through fostering an environment of trust, open and sensitive communication, working towards eliminating prejudice and empowerment through opportunity. Sustainable employment and business opportunities being key areas to a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.
What are the types of RAPs?
There are four different types of RAP’s Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each type of RAP is designed to suit organisations at different stages of their reconciliation journey.
A Reflect RAP, provides a roadmap at the infancy of reconciliation. Reflect RAP clearly sets out the steps taken to prepare an organisation for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs. Committing to a Reflect RAP allows organisations to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding vision for reconciliation and exploring spheres of influence, before committing to specific actions or initiatives.
An organisation already engaged in various reconciliation activities, workplaces start with an Innovate RAP, An Innovate RAP outlines actions towards achieving an organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation. Commitments within this RAP allow an organisation to be aspirational and innovative in order to help an organisation to gain a deeper understanding of its sphere of influence, and establish the best approach to advance reconciliation. An Innovate RAP focuses on developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, developing and piloting innovative strategies to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A Stretch RAP is best suited to organisations that have developed strategies, and established a strong approach towards advancing reconciliation internally and within the organisation’s sphere of influence. This type of RAP is focused on implementing longer-term strategies, and working towards defined measurable targets and goals. The Stretch RAP requires organisations to embed reconciliation initiatives into business strategies to become ‘business as usual’.
An Elevate RAP is for organisations that have a proven track record of embedding effective RAP initiatives in their organisation through their Stretch RAPs and are ready to take on a leadership position to advance national reconciliation. Elevate RAP organisations have a strong strategic relationship with Reconciliation Australia and actively champion initiatives to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and create societal change. Elevate RAP organisations also require greater transparency and accountability through independent assessment of their activities.
When your workplace is ready to renew their RAP, you may choose to repeat the same RAP type if appropriate, or shift focus by developing a different type of RAP. Choosing a type of RAP is about finding the best fit to guide your reconciliation journey at this point in time.
What has the Maribyrnong City Council RAP process been?
Maribyrnong City Council's first step was assessing which RAP type suited the organisation based on its relationship with its Tradition Custodians partners, commitment with ‘Close the Gap initiatives and its ongoing relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers and community members.
With close engagement with all our partners the pursuit of an Innovate RAP was selected as most appropriate.
The Maribyrnong Reconciliation Action Plan Committee was formally established.
The Maribyrnong Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee (MRAPAC) provides Council with strategic advice on reconciliation and Australia’s First Nations people. The MRAPAC is Chaired by the Maribyrnong City Council Mayor and membership is made up of at least 50% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and service providers who have a significant role in supporting the First Nations community within the City of Maribyrnong.
How was the Maribyrnong Reconciliation Action Plan Committee established?
The RAP Working Group is comprised of Council Managers from various council departments. These relevant managers are responsible for administrating, delegating and implementing the RAP action plan, which has been developed by the MRAPAC. The RWG members include the Manager Community Development, Positive Ageing and Inclusion, Manager Public Affairs and Community Relations, Manager People, Culture & Safety, Manager Arts, Community Learning and Libraries, Manager City Places, Manager City Design, Manager Governance and Commercial Services, Manager Community Services and Social Infrastructure.
MRAPAC is charged with the strategic direction and ideology of the RAP with WRG being charged with the operations and implementations of the RAP. It is the responsibility of the RWP to provide regular report for the actionable items delegated to their branch.
Why and what is involved in registering the RAP with Reconciliation Australia?
Reconciliation Australia promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 as the national body on reconciliation in Australia.
Reconciliation Australia was established following the disbandment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR) in 2000. The CAR was established in 1991 under the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991.
The CAR’s vision statement called for “A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage; and provides justice and equity for all.”
Reconciliation Australia vision of reconciliation is based on five inter-related dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related, and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five.
Informed by the five dimensions of reconciliation, Reconciliation Australia’s Strategic Plan will drive national reconciliation over the next five years through education, engagement, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
What does membership to be in the Maribrynong Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee involve?
To ensure MRAPAC members feel valued and empowered to contribute their knowledge and expertise Council offers the following:
Members are encouraged to invite other Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander people to attend MRAPAC meetings as Observers
Who did we consult and engage with?
The level of consultation/engagement appropriate varies greatly from organisation to organisation, and depends upon which type of RAP chosen.
Maribyrnong City Council for six months worked closely with Elders and representatives of the Traditional Custodian organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partner organisations in the development of our Reconciliation Action Plan, our partners include:
How much did the RAP cost?
Reconciliation Australia’s RAP framework, templates, guides and resources are publically available and free to access. Calculating the resources and finances required to develop, implementation and reporting on our RAP is costed through the diversity Officer position.
Consulting fees for Wurundjeri Council Elders, Boon Wurrung Council Elder, Bunurong Land Council Elders was in strict adherence with MCC procurement Policy as with the continued honorarium support for eligible members of MRAPAC.