Reconciliation in Action

By Dr. Robbie Lloyd

All over Australia there are schools, community groups, businesses and government departments moving forward with Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP). So what sorts of things are they doing to show Reconciliation in Action? We will feature some examples in the coming months, as the Sydney Archdiocese begins its own journey with Reconciliation Action Planning.

The four main areas where Reconciliation Australia guides structured and accountable action in RAPs are listed below. And for each of these areas below, there are measures of effective action, covering: Deliverables, Timeline, Responsibility & Support Team.

To illustrate how this can play out in action, here are the words from the Wilcannia Forbes CatholicCare RAP in answer to the four areas:

Relationships –  CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes vision is for a resilient and socially inclusive community that cares for the wellbeing of all. We are committed to building strong and mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to progress our commitment to reconciliation and improve our knowledge and skills so that our services and programs are appropriate and support the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australian peoples.

Respect – CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes delivers quality community services of social value and practical benefit. We believe that respect and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures will extend the understanding and skills of our staff, which will deepen their connection to enable the provision of culturally respectful and appropriate support. We hope to foster a culture of learning from and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and view reconciliation and cross-cultural learning as a dynamic and continuous process.

Opportunities – CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes capacity to deliver quality services and programs is underpinned by our knowledge of and relationship with the communities we serve. Providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities to contribute to our services is a vital aspect of our business success.

Governance, Tracking Progress & Reporting – Achievements, Challenges & Learning; Review, Refresh & Update RAP – Details are  listed in the RAP to allow people to see what and  where things are happening.

That’s the sort of approach the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney will be taking to our RAP over the coming months & years.