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At The Benevolent Society, we’re committed supporters of the national reconciliation movement

 We believe in fostering respect, trust and positive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.

To make sure we achieve our reconciliation goals, we’ve created and committed to an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan. Read on to learn more about the movement and our involvement.

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?

Reconciliation Australia, a not-for-profit advocacy group for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, have created a framework to help organisations support the reconciliation movement. This framework is called a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). RAPs set out measurable outcomes for achieving respectful relationships and meaningful opportunities for indigenous people.

There are four types of RAPs.

    1. Reflect –  A plan to get organisations started in their reconciliation journeys. It sets out goals and guidelines for future plans.
    2. Innovate – A plan that outlines an organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation, and the steps towards achieving that vision.
    3. Stretch – A plan for organisations already advancing through their reconciliation journeys. It sets out long-term strategies.
    4. Elevate – A plan for organisations that have already succeeded in many of their reconciliation goals. They’re ready to take on a leadership role in national reconciliation.

RAP Image

'Peregrination' - by Jasmine Sarin

 

The Benevolent Society’s Commitment

Our First Australians hold an important and unique place as Custodians of our land and waters and also in Australian society. In honouring this, our organisation has again made a commitment to Reconciliation. The Benevolent Society remains steadfast in our commitment to promoting the economic, political and social inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We took on our first plan, Reflect, in 2012. This plan focused on preparing our organisation for reconciliation strategies and supporting opportunities for indigenous people. We started by building relationships and consulting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their elders.

We also generated support and goodwill throughout our own organisation, from staff members to senior leaders. Finally, we set up a RAP Working Group and a governance structure known as our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander External Advisory Group (EAG). The group comprises of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and members of The Benevolent Society Board.

Our Innovate Plan

Having succeeded in implementing our Reflect plan, we’re now onto our second plan. Through Innovate, we take the next steps towards reconciliation. We launched Innovate on April 4th 2019, and are very excited about our new approach to embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across our organisation. The current plan is a result of 18 months of consultation between our staff, Reconciliation Australia, and the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Our Innovate plan aims to:

  • Continue to develop genuine relationships with communities
  • Develop and measure our reconciliation impact
  • Engage all of our staff in reconciliation initiatives
  • Explore ways in which our organisation can drive reconciliation through our services and activities
  • Publically report our RAP achievements, challenges and learnings annually to Reconciliation Australia.

Click here more information on our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.