Federal water body renews and expands Reconciliation Action Plan

Posted 9 March 2017

Aboriginal womanThe Federal Department for Agriculture and Water Resources has reaffirmed its commitment to the Reconciliation Action Plan with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

The plan, entitled Growing Reconciliation: Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017-2019, includes specific measurable targets, said Department Deputy Secretary Lyn O’Connell. 

“It sets goals about the sort of relationships we will build and maintain, and ways we’ll recognise the knowledge and contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their communities make to our organisation – and the ones we can make to theirs,” she said.

“As the department’s Indigenous Champion, I am pleased that we are committing to specific actions to help us meet targets; it’s an important way we can hold ourselves to account.”

There are four types of RAPs recognised by Reconciliation Australia: reflect, innovate, stretch and elevate. 

CEO of Reconciliation Australia Justin Mohamed welcomed the department's implementation of a stretch RAP.

“A stretch RAP has specific measurable targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, retention, cultural awareness and procurement, and it is for organisations ready to challenge themselves,” Mohamed said.

“Reconciliation Australia congratulates the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on its past successes and ongoing commitment to reconciliation as it implements its fourth Reconciliation Action Plan.”

Department secretary Daryl Quinlivan said the plan “outlines the five focus areas where our energy, wholehearted commitment and resources will fundamentally alter the future: extending respect, northern futures, inspired partnerships, rewarding careers and collective decisions”.

More than 650 organisations have created a RAP since 2006, and there are many more in development.