Reconciliation Australia welcomes the important commitment made by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) today in becoming the first political party to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The ALP launched its RAP on the second day of the ALP National Conference – the ALP’s highest decision-making forum – at the Adelaide Convention Centre. It was passed by acclamation.
Leading figures from the ALP took part in the launch, including Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, and members of the ALP First Nations Caucus Linda Burney MP, Senator Pat Dodson and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine, who addressed the conference, said the launch was a truly momentous occasion, and she hoped it might encourage all political parties to rethink their involvement in reconciliation.
“I congratulate and thank the Federal Labor Party and its First Nations Caucus for their leadership and commitment to playing a part in progressing reconciliation,” she said.
“It is striking that so many organisations around the country have put their hand up to contribute to reconciliation – yet until today, Australia’s political parties have lagged behind.
“I hope other political parties will now stop and think about what more they can do to support and make commitments to reconciliation, including through the implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan.”
Ms Mundine said reconciliation is shaped in workplaces and social spaces throughout the country, which means organisations of all types have a role to play.
“There are things that we all can and should do to strengthen the relationship between broader Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Islander Australians.”
There are almost 1000 active RAPs nationwide.
Major corporations, professional sporting clubs, government departments, non-profit organisations and schools all over the country have developed RAPs since the program was launched in 2006.
The RAP program provides a framework for organisations to support national reconciliation.
A RAP is a strategic document that supports an organisation to develop actions, strategies and measureable targets that build respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reconciliation Australia’s 2017 RAP Impact Measurement Report found that RAPs play a pivotal role in driving real and positive change in Australia, including in education, employment and procurement.