National Reconciliation Week launch highlights RAP success

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) was launched at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast where the latest Reconciliation Action Plan Impact Measurement report was released.

  • 600+ RAP organisations helping redress disparities in employment, education and health
  • 30,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians employed
  • $55 million toward education scholarships
  • $42 million worth of pro-bono support
  • In a nationwide first for Australian events, a RAP will be developed for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • Dreamworld a prime case study of successful RAP


The launch event was attended by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion and Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt, with a message delivered by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Mr Justin Mohamed said, “The Reconciliation report highlights the success of Reconciliation Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program in driving social change and improving economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”

“The Report highlights the power of RAPs as a catalyst for action. Our 600+ RAP organisations have employed almost 30,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and contributed $55 million towards education scholarships, and $42 million worth of pro-bono support.”

“These findings are proof that RAPs have helped to create a dynamic community to redress disparities in employment, education and health,” said Mr Mohamed.

In a nationwide first for Australian events, a RAP will be developed for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt made the announcement saying, “The plan will have a specific focus on enabling Indigenous arts and cultural businesses to benefit from the games, as well as providing employment opportunities.”

Mr Pitt said as winner of the Queensland 2014 Premier’s Award for Reconciliation, Dreamworld Corroboree had a proven track record of success in delivering Indigenous training and employment opportunities in the tourism sector. “[Dreamworld] epitomises the spirit of National Reconciliation Week, which also includes today’s anniversary of the 1967 referendum which included Indigenous Australians in the census and Mabo Day on 3 June in celebration of the landmark native title decision by the High Court.”

Dreamworld was pleased to announce its endorsement by Reconciliation Australia for a Stretch RAP as part of its efforts to close the gap. Following the success of its RAP launched in 2012, the ground up approach developed by the business has engaged up to 21 individuals from the local Indigenous community and beyond, and today launches the second phase to stretch these efforts to a target of 5% employment across the Ardent Leisure theme parks division.

Mr Craig Davidson, CEO Theme Parks Division Ardent Leisure said, “The Board of Ardent Leisure along with Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint are committed to bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the broader Australian community together by extending the opportunity for all our guests and staff to increase their understanding and respect of the world’s oldest culture through our immersive interactive walk through experience, Dreamworld Corroboree.”

The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott, in his video message “said there has been much progress since the 1967 Referendum but almost 50 years later so much more is needed. We will never be all that we should be as a nation until we do better at this. I encourage all Australians to take part in National Reconciliation Week.”

National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians and provides an opportunity to learn more about our shared histories, cultures and achievements.

Mr Mohamed, said this year’s NRW theme, ‘It’s time to change it up!’ is an invitation for all Australians to step up and become active reconciliation participants. Talking about reconciliation is always a positive, but to achieve reconciliation we need all Australians to get involved,” he said.

NRW celebrated from 27 May to 3 June with events happening across Australia. Go to 

The full RAP Impact Measurement Report is available for download here.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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