Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Consultancy
What is a RAP?
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement.
No matter where your organisation is on its reconciliation journey, there is a RAP to suit. Schools and early learning services can develop a RAP through Narragunnawali. Workplaces can be supported to develop one of four types of RAP—Reflect, Innovate, Stretch or Elevate.
A RAP is a strategic document that supports an organisation’s business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which it operates.
The RAP Program contributes to advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation by supporting organisations to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Each of the four RAP types (Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate) set out the minimum elements required from your organisation to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within your organisation and community.
Schools and Early Learning Services
Schools and early learning services can develop a RAP through Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning.
Narragunnawali supports all schools and early learning services in Australia to foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
The Narragunnawali platform is free to access and hosts a wealth of learning and curriculum resources to support the development, implementation and management of RAPs in schools and early learning services.
Workplace RAP Framework
Reconciliation Australia’s RAP Framework provides organisations with a structured approach to advance reconciliation. 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 journey.
– Scoping reconciliation
A Reflect RAP clearly sets out the steps you should take to prepare your organisation for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs. Committing to a Reflect RAP allows your organisation to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on your vision for reconciliation and exploring your sphere of influence, before committing to specific actions or initiatives. This process will help to produce future RAPs that are meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable.
– Implementing reconciliation
An Innovate RAP outlines actions that work towards achieving your organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation. Commitments within this RAP allow your organisation to be aspirational and innovative in order to help your 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.
– Embedding reconciliation
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’.
– Leadership in reconciliation
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.
Why develop a RAP?
RAPs are making a difference across Australia in workplaces, universities, schools, government and community organisations.
The RAP framework enables organisations to contribute to reconciliation by:
- building and encouraging relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, organisations, and the broader Australian community
- fostering and embedding respect for the world’s longest surviving cultures and communities.
- develop opportunities within your organisation or services to improve socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
By developing a RAP, your organisation can:
- implement a tried and tested framework, that is proven to drive reconciliation through practical actions
- turn your organisation’s good intentions into action by formalising your organisation’s commitment to reconciliation
- reaffirm institutional integrity by embedding an engaging framework contributing towards good governance practices.
- join a dynamic, supportive and fast growing network of RAP organisations.
- gain greater esteem as an employer of choice and build a more dynamic and diverse workforce
- enable your staff to develop greater cultural awareness and professional development practices that will strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders
- gain access to new markets and better engagement with existing markets
- ensure more effective and relevant service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
Registration and recognition of RAP’s
As the peak reconciliation body in Australia and owner of the RAP Program and its associated nomenclature and logo, Reconciliation Australia holds the sole authority to register and recognize organisations with RAP’s at all levels – ‘Reflect’, ‘Innovate’, ‘Stretch’ or ‘Elevate’. Organisations with compliant, registered RAP’s are authorized to use Reconciliation Australia’s RAP trademark and logo to credential their RAP both within their organization and in the wider community.
Development and registration of RAP’s in Tasmania
Despite there being over 1000 RAP’s across Australia, at the beginning of 2018, there were then no current, registered wholly Tasmanian RAP’s. In August 2017, Tasmania joined all other Australian States in launching the Tasmanian Reconciliation Council (Reconcilition Tasmania – RT). RT has identified the establishment of Tasmanian RAP’s as a priority for 2018 and beyond as a means of both increasing awareness and activity in reconciliation in the state as well as a source of income to support and grow RT.
Accordingly, in the first quarter of 2018, RT is establishing a panel of local RT members as RAP Consultants trained and accredited by RA to work with Tasmanian organisations from all three sectors – public, private and community – on a ‘fee for service’ basis to develop and register Tasmanian RAP’s in 2018 and beyond.
It is therefore anticipated that this initiative will dramatically and rapidly increase reconciliation awareness and activity in Tasmania in 2018 and following years. It will also provide an empathetic income stream to secure RT’s activities in Tasmania without reliance on recurrent government funding. This independence and neutrality is itself a critical success factor in the establishment of RT.