A new report highlighting the achievements Australian workplaces are making towards reconciliation shows organisations with culturally safe environments are more likely to have sustainable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Impact Measurement Report evaluates the collective impact of the RAP program and details the significant milestones made by the growing RAP community.

Since the RAP program was launched just over five years ago, 280 organisations have implemented a RAP and more than 1.6 million people now work or study in organisations committed to achieving reconciliation.

Reconciliation Australia Co-Chairs Dr Tom Calma and Ms Melinda Cilento said the report’s findings are extremely positive for reconciliation.

“RAPs are helping to build a nation that understands its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural roots—and that’s something that benefits all Australians,” Dr Calma said.

“Creating a culture of respect in the workplace is fundamental to delivering sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“RAPs provide a framework for organisations to pursue reconciliation through clear actions and commitments focussed on respect, relationships and opportunities – and this is producing results.”

RAP organisations have committed to employing more than 21,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with over 13,300 positions already filled.

In addition to filling nearly 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprenticeships and traineeships, RAP organisations have provided millions of dollars in educational scholarships and purchased $26 million in goods and services from certified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. Ms Cilento added that the RAP program is successful because it encourages organisations to build genuine partnerships and strategies that fit well with an organisation’s core business.

“RAPs are ambitious because they seek to drive positive change by focusing on showing respect and building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Ms Cilento said. Media Contact: Rebecca Gallegos 0411 483 707 rebecca.gallegos@reconciliation.org.au or Kylie Kluger 0418 633 277 kylie.kluger@reconciliation.org.au “Our research shows that once a workplace has developed actions based on respect, and formed positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities, better opportunities in employment, education and business follow.

“RAPs also make good business sense. They help organisations develop a consistent approach to enabling better opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In short they turn good intentions into actions.

And they encourage organisations to engage with employees, customers, and suppliers which support greater diversity and new opportunities for growth.”

Some of Australia’s largest peak organisations, universities, schools, sporting bodies, government agencies and corporations, including 10 of Australia’s top 20 businesses, have adopted RAPs.

Key statistics in the RAP Impact Measurement Report include:

  • Over 280 organisations have a RAP.
  • More than 1.6 million Australians currently work or study in an organisation that has a RAP.
  • RAP organisations are committed to employing more than 21,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So far, 13,397 positions have been filled.
  • RAP organisations have filled nearly 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprenticeships and traineeship positions.
  • RAP organisations have purchased $26 million worth of goods and services from suppliers certified by the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) helping to further build Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses and employment.
  • More than $9 million has been provided by RAP organisations to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarships.
  • RAP organisations have committed to put 170,000 people through cultural awareness training and 22,000 have already taken this up.
  • 161 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities are working with a RAP partner.
  • The RAP Impact Measurement Report highlights the ongoing relationships that have been formed between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

    “It’s truly exciting to see how the RAP program is driving reconciliation and helping to improve the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians,” Ms Cilento said.

    “These relationships show us that trust and mutual understanding are central to creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that benefit all Australians.”

    Reconciliation Australia is the peak body promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

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