To start with, I think I should make it clear that before we embarked on this process we felt we didn’t know what we were doing or where to start when it came to developing a RAP – or Reconciliation Action Plan.
What we do know is, that as an organisation and as individuals, we think it’s an important part of the reconciliation process.
I also thought that if we, as an organisation don’t know how to go about this process, then perhaps other agencies may not either. So we decided to share our organisation’s journey down the path of developing our Reflect Reconciliation Plan from the beginning in the hope that it may shed some light on the process or perhaps inspire others to start their own journeys.
I’d also like to add that I am not a blogger! So if f you came here looking for a literary masterpiece, unfortunately you won’t find it here! Instead this blog will be an open and honest account of our journey as a not-for-profit agency as we work towards developing an organizational Reconciliation Action Plan – something that we have talked about for a long time and are finally commencing now.
A Guiding Hand
I think to begin it’s important to let you know that we are not embarking on this journey alone. We are very fortunate to be working with the very lovely and patient Ingrid Cummings from CodeSwitch who is helping us along our path. Ingrid is an extremely knowledgeable and passionate woman dedicated to achieving reconciliation in Australia and will be guiding ICCWA on its own path towards creating our very own RAP. A small step for mankind perhaps but if we were all doing it…
Ingrid has facilitated cultural understanding sessions to our team in the past and as a result we have seen a positive professional relationship blossom over time.
This relationship has been an integral part of the RAP development process and Ingrid has made us feel comfortable and safe in discussing issues of a potentially sensitive nature (or simply ask questions may have been too scared to ask elsewhere). Fortunately, with Ingrid, there is no such thing as a stupid question (well almost no such thing), and indeed all questions were encouraged during our discussions.
We began the process of developing a RAP with a kick-off meeting between a small group of ICCWA staff and Ingrid, to discuss where we as an organization are coming from and where we would like to be in the future. We identified what strengths and weaknesses the organisation could both harness and be mindful of during the development and implementation of our RAP, which opportunities we could utilize and also the threats we could tactfully avoid along the way.
During that initial meeting it also became apparent that we needed to bring together a core group of staff who would champion the RAP internally and make sure we stayed on track to achieve our goals in a timely manner. We also decided to hold an internal workshop, inviting all staff to learn more about the process of developing a Reconciliation Action Plan and to begin brainstorming where opportunities for reconciliation action may lie for ICCWA.
One of our next steps was to pencil in an external workshop to consult with members of the Aboriginal community and other stakeholders on what was important to consider in the development of our first RAP.
So with some important decisions made, we are off on our journey. Now to find my RAP champions!
Stay tuned to find out more about the next step in our RAP journey.