reconciliation

Large gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians exist on all social, health, educational and economic indicators. RAPs play an important role in improving access to opportunities and creating positive change within the wider community.

The 2018 RAP Impact Measurement Report showed more than 1000 organisations across Australia had RAPs and more than 2.7 million people worked or studied in an organisation with one.

RAPs are based on three core pillars — relationships, respect and opportunities. Underpinned by effective governance and reporting practices, actions under these pillars drive progress across the five dimensions of reconciliation — race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity and historical acceptance.

RAP stats

74% of employees in organisations with a RAP considered the relationship between Indigenous peoples and other Australians important for the nation (compared with 50 per cent in broader community)

55% of employees considered it important to undertake a formal truth-telling process to acknowledge Australia’s shared history (36 per cent in broader community)

Source: reconciliation.org.au

There are four types of RAP to suit organisations at different stages of the reconciliation journey:

Reflect

Sets out the steps an organisation should take to prepare for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs (32 per cent of all RAPs).

Innovate

Focuses on developing and strengthening relationships with Indigenous peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, developing and piloting innovative strategies for empowerment (51 per cent of all RAPs).

Stretch

Focuses on implementing longer-term strategies, defining measurable targets and goals and requires organisations to embed reconciliation initiatives into business strategies to become “business as usual” (14 per cent of all RAPs).

Elevate

Organisations have a strong strategic relationship with Reconciliation Australia and actively champion initiatives to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and create societal change. This requires greater transparency and accountability through independent assessment of activities (three per cent of all RAPS, including, in 2018, BHP, KPMG, Woodside, Telstra and Curtin University of Technology).

RAPs are based on three core pillars: relationships, respect and opportunities.

AICD action

In 2017, the AICD put in place its first Reconciliation Action Plan, which represented its commitment to fostering greater economic and social equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The AICD RAP focuses on supporting Indigenous leadership and governance in keeping with the AICD mission of strengthening society through world-class governance.

The AICD is updating its Indigenous Governance Program and curriculum, which will help strengthen Indigenous organisations and build a pipeline of Indigenous directors. The AICD has been working with Indigenous leaders on adapting its programs to make sure they work in the context of Indigenous organisations.

The AICD’s advisory team has presented more than 140 Indigenous Governance Programs to 1784 participants since 2010. It has delivered the Company Directors Course to more than 170 Indigenous business leaders since 2009.

Indigenous business

The number of Indigenous people who are in business or self-employed has increased from 4000 in 1991 to nearly 20,000 (30 per cent increase 2011–2016). The minimum requirement is that a business be at least 50 per cent Indigenous-owned, controlled and managed (100 per cent, if a sole trader).

Since the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy was introduced in July 2015, more than 12,500 contracts have been awarded to 1524 Indigenous businesses to the value of $2b in goods and services.

To ensure Indigenous businesses win higher-value contracts closer to parity with non-Indigenous companies, from 1 July 2019, a target based on the value of contracts awarded will be introduced (to reach three per cent by 2027).