The Innovate RAP is where your organisation will develop programs and initiatives to pilot or trial. Deciding on your organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation and developing a deeper understanding your sphere of influence plays a critical role in guiding focus and actions for this type of RAP and are key aspects of your organisation’s Innovate RAP.
This section outlines what needs to be in your Innovate RAP, and what doesn’t.
What we expect in your Innovate RAP
As the name suggests, the Innovate RAP is focused on working with your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to test and trial approaches to building relationships, showing respect and improving opportunities.
Throughout your Innovate RAP, you should continually raise internal awareness about your organisation’s commitments to reconciliation by promoting the RAP to staff and providing opportunities to engage with reconciliation activities. National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June each year) is a great opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other staff members to build relationships, and is a great way to foster engagement at the individual level.
RAP insight: Preparing your organisation It is important to prepare your organisation for the implementation of your Innovate RAP. A first step to consider when developing an Innovate RAP is whether your HR and procurement policies and procedures will support your RAP. It also means making sure your organisation has established systems for measuring and reporting the progress of key actions.With each action you include in your RAP, consider all the possible policy and procedural changes that may need to be reviewed in order to support your organisation to achieve that action.
What we don’t expect in your Innovate RAP
The Innovate RAP should be focused on trialling new approaches and different ways of working together, rather than on meeting targets, which can limit flexibility and innovation. Throughout the Innovate RAP, it’s important to take time and test different approaches to see what will work within your unique organisational context. We don’t expect your Innovate RAP to include:
- Employment targets
- Cultural awareness targets
- Supplier diversity or procurement targets
- Long-term initiatives or projects.
Ideas for deliverables for Innovate RAP minimum elements
All RAPs include actions, timelines and deliverable under four headings: ‘Relationships’, ‘Respect’, ‘Opportunities’ and ‘Tracking Progress and Reporting’. The table below shows the elements that must be included in your Innovate RAP for it to be endorsed, plus ideas of how the minimum element may be expressed in terms of the action and the deliverable. Please note, these are suggestions only and your dedicated RAP project officer will work with you to identify actions that will suit your organisation’s business and sphere of influence.
||Ideas for phrasing the action
||Ideas for Innovate RAP deliverables
||The RAP working group continues to actively monitor RAP development, including whether actions are being implemented, and progress is being tracked and reported.
- The working group oversees the development, endorsement and launch of the RAP.
- The working group meets at least twice annually to monitor and report on RAP implementation.
|Build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations or communities in the organisation, local area and business niche by participating in National Reconciliation Week.
- Organise at least one internal event each year.
||Engage employees in cultural learning, to increase understanding and appreciation of different cultural backgrounds, laying the foundation for the achievement of other RAP actions.
- Develop and pilot a cultural awareness training strategy for your organisation. In particular, provide opportunities for RAP working group members, RAP Champions, HR managers and other key leadership personnel to participate in training.
|Consult on the development of protocols for Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country, and raise staff awareness of the agreed protocols.
- Consult, develop, implement and communicate a protocol document for your organisation.
- Identify at least one significant event at which a traditional owner will deliver a Welcome to Country address.
|Provide opportunities for your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to engage with their culture and community through NAIDOC Week events (if applicable).
- Review HR policies and procedures to ensure there are no barriers to staff participating in NAIDOC Week.
- Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to participate in local NAIDOC Week events.
||Investigate opportunities within your organisation to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment opportunities.
- Establish a baseline record of existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
- Review HR procedures and policies to ensure your organisation can address barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.
- Engage with existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to discuss employment strategies, including professional development.
- Engage with the local Job Services Australia in your local area.
- Develop a formal Indigenous Employment Strategy.
- Pilot different approaches to increasing Indigenous employment within your organisation (this may include training pathways, apprenticeships, internships, cadetships or work experience).
- Advertise all job vacancies in Indigenous media.
- Participate in recruitment activities such as job fairs, open days.
- Review and adapt recruitment and interviewing processes to ensure they attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants.
*Visit Reconciliation Australia’s Workplace Ready program toolkit for further guidance and information*
|Investigate opportunities to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses within your supply chain.
- Review your organisation’s procurement policies and address barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
- Investigate becoming a member of Supply Nation or partnering with your local Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.
- Educate procurement team members about using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
- Develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier list for your organisation.
- Develop relationships with organisations that can connect you with potential Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers.
- Develop a plan for your organisation to publically promote business opportunities available.
- Review and reform procurement strategy, policy and processes so that supplier diversity principles can be incorporate into your procurement strategy.
- Provide opportunities for your procurement team to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to develop the knowledge and capabilities required to effectively tender for contracts with your organisation.
*Visit Reconciliation Australia’s Workplace Ready program toolkit on supplier diversity for further guidance and information*
||Report achievements, challenges and learnings to Reconciliation Australia for inclusion in the annual RAP Impact Measurement Report.
- Complete and submit the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia each year.
Download the Innovate RAP Template to see the suggested targets for these minimum actions and start drafting your plan.
Ideas for other Innovate RAP actions
Aside from the Innovate RAP minimum elements, you should also include other actions related to your core business, sphere of influence and vision for reconciliation. This is your chance to be creative, innovative and aspirational. As with all RAP actions, remember to keep your deliverables realistic and measurable. The list below includes real examples of actions developed by other RAP organisations, to give you an idea of the diversity and creativity of the RAP community in developing their RAPs.
Sector Examples of other actions
||Examples of other actions
- Review recruitment processes and HR policies.
- Capture baseline data on the number of existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members.
- Name buildings and/or rooms in honour of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Display and fully acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, art and imagery.
- Partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, employment and training services.
- Initiate volunteering arrangements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
- Establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees’ network.
- Create an interest group for employees to discuss reconciliation issues and initiatives, and include a mailing list to raise awareness of Indigenous community issues and invite staff members to community events (BP Australia & Woodside).
- Install signs acknowledging local traditional custodians of the land (BP Australia).
- Offer personalised career discussions for existing Indigenous employees to help them consider potential training and skills development (Accor).
- Develop and implement excellence awards to recognise Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees who have made a significant contribution to your organisation’s RAP and/or the Indigenous community (Accor).
- Make sure the induction program for new employees includes information on your organisation’s reconciliation commitment (Accor).
- Develop a formalised Indigenous community consultation process for social investments (Woodside).
- Explore models to deliver direct financial literacy advice to individuals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities (NAB).
- Investigate an approach to enabling affordable home ownership for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (CBA).
- Support the First Nations Foundation in promoting the My Moola financial literacy program for Indigenous communities (ANZ delivered the program to 350 Indigenous participants in Shepparton, Victoria).
|Legal and professional services
- Provide access to Indigenous newspapers in staff common areas (Allens Consulting Group).
- Hold regular internal discussion forums on Indigenous affairs and culture throughout the year, and encourage all staff to attend at least one discussion forum (Allens Consulting Group).
- Develop a Working with Indigenous Australians Research Protocol, covering topics that include but are not limited to: seeking permission from traditional owners/local elders for research to take place on their land; using incentives and or gifts in kind; gathering feedback on research results; and ownership of traditional knowledge (Colmar Brunton).
- Offer an Indigenous scholarship through a university associated with the organisation. Include the scholarship recipient in your organisation’s mentoring program (if applicable) and consider them for part-time employment (Arnold Bloch Leibler).
- Conduct an internship pilot program that provides opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (Allens Consulting Group).
|Federal or state government
- Encourage the use of an approved email signature block to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land (Justice and Community Safety Directorate, ACT).
- Establish protocols for respectful engagement and/or consultation between your organisation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities.
- Place an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners statement in the public space of major postal facilities in each state and territory (Australia Post).
- Develop relationships with two NSW Aboriginal Land Councils and relevant government departments (Bankstown City Council).
- Develop a Tourism Action Plan that identifies opportunities for Aboriginal tourism in your area (Adelaide City Council).
- Cultivate partnerships and introduce a First Peoples story time for children (Cairns Regional Council).
- Market library services and initiatives to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities using appropriate contacts, schools, organisations, and mass and social media. These initiatives might include children’s programs, community learning and celebrations (Cairns Regional Council).
- Sign and formalise a Memorandum of Understanding between your organisation and local elders (Youth and Family Services, Logan City).
- Host an annual Close the Gap event and invite local elders, community leaders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents. At this event, report on how your organisation has addressed closing the gap (Youth and Family Services, Logan City).
- Request quotes from one or more Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander businesses on all major tenders (Amnesty International Australia).
- Actively promote and showcase examples of good and emerging practice, projects and programs that enhance service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and/or promote reconciliation at a local level (Family Relationships Services Australia).
- Develop a strategy to measure and increase participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences, and by general audiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activities (including performances) (Sydney Opera House).
- Review—or contribute to reviewing—an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts policy (the Australia Council reviewed the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Policy).
- Include Welcome to Country protocols in the budget for all events (Museums and Galleries NSW).
- Identify opportunities to build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations in the health sector (GlaxoSmith Kline).
- Include the words ‘Aboriginal applicants are encouraged to apply’ in all vacant position advertisements (Adelaide to Outback GP Training).
- Promote and support the national implementation of the Culturally Secure Accreditation Framework (CSAF) (WANADA).
- Hold at least one community forum/meeting each year—at the office/campus and organisation/institute levels—to review your organisation’s progress and refresh your RAP (North Coast TAFE).
- Develop an Elders in Residence program to contribute to the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community within your organisation (University of Newcastle).
- Continue to develop primary and high school programs that target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, helping them attain a greater knowledge and awareness of pathways and university experiences (University of Newcastle).