What is a Reconciliation Action Plan and why do organisations do them?

BY: Tracey Mesken12/03/2019

​What is a RAP?The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program is a framework for organisations to realise their vision for reconciliation, supporting the national reconciliation movement.  RAP’s are practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities, creating social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.There are four types of RAP that an organisation can develop: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate. Each type of RAP is designed to suit an organisation at different stages of their reconciliation.Reflect – Scoping reconciliation                                                                                                  A Reflect RAP allows organisations to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on their vision for reconciliation and exploring areas of influence, before committing to specific actions or initiatives.Innovate – Implementing reconciliationAn Innovate RAP outlines actions that work towards achieving an organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation. Commitments within this RAP allow organisations to be aspirational and innovative, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of its area of influence, and establish the best approach to advance reconciliation Stretch – Embedding reconciliationA Stretch RAP is focused on implementing longer-term strategies and working towards defined measurable targets and goals. Organisations are required to embed reconciliation initiatives into business strategies to become ‘business as usual’.Elevate – Leadership in reconciliationElevate 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. Organisations are required to have greater transparency and accountability through independent assessment of their activities. Why do organisations develop them?Reconciliation Plans make a difference.   Throughout Australia the RAP framework is enabling workplaces, educational institutions, government and community organisations to contribute to reconciliation by fostering and embedding respect, building and encouraging relationships and developing opportunities or services to improve socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.  By developing a RAP organisations can;Drive reconciliation through practical actionsFormalise organisations good intentions by committing to reconciliationEnable staff to develop greater cultural awareness strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islandersBuild a more dynamic and diverse workforceGain access to new markets and better engagement with existing marketsEnsure more effective and relevant service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.Join a dynamic, supportive and fast growing network of organisations committed to reconciliation WorkPac Group Reconciliation Action PlanMarch 2019 will see the launch of our second Reconciliation Action Plan.  In the last two years The successes we have seen throughout our RAP journey have been very rewarding. Sharing these successes with our local communities and within our organisation, allows us to build our team’s knowledge, skills, and cultural understanding and foster both respect and opportunity.At WorkPac Group we are in a unique position to reach communities all over Australia, and are committed to ensuring that all members of the communities in which we operate are given the opportunity to participate in employment and further develop and acquire new skills. Our reconciliation action plan outcomes are underpinned by producing greater employment and training outcomes as well as being more involved with community engagement events and activities.We will now strive to reach a new level of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Our interaction and involvement from multiple parties including local Traditional Owners, Indigenous Ambassadors and Aboriginal Health services will continue to improve.The development of our RAP is through great collaboration across all our teams and the understanding and respect for each other stands out as the main drivers in achieving employment and training outcomes.  We look forward to further solidifying our relationships with all our stakeholders and we are thankful for the assistance and support provided by all our staff across Australia in ensuring our commitments made are delivered in full.Our RAP now forms part of the fabric of our entire organisation, it is a key part of our culture and we endeavor to continuously improve on how we can make a meaningful contribution in the communities we operate in.  For an update on what we achieved during our 2017/2019 RAP click here 

Decades-long friendship the catalyst for WorkPac’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

BY: Tracey Mesken28/02/2017

​Australia’s largest privately owned recruitment company WorkPac, will launch the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Perth, Wednesday the 1st of March, to complement its pioneering Indigenous Workforce division, JobTrail, in connecting Traditional Owners, business, and governments, in growing strong, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforces.WorkPac Founder and Chairman, Phil Smart, was the driving force in creating the group’s own division dedicated to fostering equality in Australian workplaces – an undertaking that evolved through his 25-year friendship with Albert Bowie.“The Bowie family, whose tribal heritage is from Badu and Erub in the Torres Strait and Palm Island, and Nancy Bowie (nee Go Sam) from the Jirrbal and Ngadgon-Jii tribes in Far North Queensland have a strong history of business ownership and are well-respected in the Indigenous community,” Mr. Smart said.“Albert and his family have been active in the reconciliation movement, and have been pivotal in helping us to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation, create more culturally safe and tolerant workplaces, and give workers the opportunity to contribute to new projects, industries, services, products and ways of doing business, right across Australia,” he said.WorkPac Group Managing Director, Mr. Praanesh Prasad said, “this is a long-term commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in communities where we operate”.WorkPac and its JobTrail division will launch its RAP with a traditional Aboriginal dance performance, followed by a Welcome to Country, at Kuditj, 201 Beaufort Street Perth.JobTrail Regional Manager Julian Genn, said the event was an important step in the group’s journey toward a brighter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.“Attracting, recruiting, on boarding and supporting Indigenous workers is a dedicated function that many companies need external support to undertake successfully,” Mr. Genn said.“But one of our keys to success is that we involve Traditional Owners and Elders in our projects and create genuine partnerships in regions to drive community engagement, enabling us to deliver program outcomes that are aligned with Indigenous employment targets.“The Bowie family has helped us every step of the way in this journey so we could minimise the challenges, and connect with the community in a way that’s enabled JobTrail to provide ongoing holistic support,” he said.To learn more about WorkPac's journey to reconciliation, click here.Click here to watch our video on the story of WorkPac's Reconciliation Action Plan artwork.