Our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is the result of 12 months of internal collaboration and external consultation with our industry. We believe our First Australians, with a history spanning 60,000 years, have deep insights into building sustainable, resilient places for people that respect the natural environment. And we recognise the GBCA is in a unique position to influence the way our industry considers reconciliation within the context of placemaking.
Over the next year, we will be examining how the Green Star rating system for buildings and communities can recognise and reward placemaking that honours our First Australians. But of equal importance, we have a role to play as our industry’s storytellers, and to share the ideas and initiatives that are helping our members make progress on our collective journey towards reconciliation. We are deeply inspired by the work of many of our members – Lendlease’s skills training programs and Stockland’s procurement practices among them – and are determined to share these stories throughout our industry to inspire other companies.
We hope to spark an ongoing conversation within our industry about the importance of reconciliation, and to showcase the actions our industry can take – both practical and symbolic – to embed reconciliation into our placemaking. Our industry looks to us for leadership and I am incredibly proud of the work of our team, and of our first Reflect RAP. But we all recognise this is the first step on a long journey – one which will identify new opportunities to deepen the relationships, respect and trust critical to reconciliation, and to build a sustainable future where no one is left behind.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a framework or business plan that outlines how an organisation plans to build meaningful relationships, enhance respect and promote opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The RAP framework is administered by Reconciliation Australia, which provides templates, guidance and approval of each organisation’s plan.
There are four types of RAPs: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. As we are just starting out on our reconciliation journey, the GBCA has developed a Reflect RAP to help us build the foundations for relationships, respect and opportunities. Our Reflect RAP is focused on raising awareness and gaining support from our member companies, and laying the groundwork for our future commitments to cultural learning, procurement practices and reconciliation within placemaking.
Our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a one year Reflect plan, will help us to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, develop new relationships with First Australian businesses and embed new initiatives across the organisation. There are many opportunities for our staff to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, for our industry to gain insights into the sustainable planning of urban environments and to build more diverse, inclusive places for all Australians.
To reach our goals with our RAP and our commitment to reconciliation we will work toward the following actions:
Develop a list of key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations within our local area or sphere of influence (sustainability and the built environment) to approach and connect with on our reconciliation journey. Actively seek to build relationships with these organisations.
Develop a list of GBCA members and like-minded organisations that have RAPs that we can approach to share experiences and learn from as we continue our reconciliation journey.
Develop and implement a plan to raise awareness among all staff across the organisation about our RAP commitment and engage our senior leaders in the delivery of RAP outcomes.
Organise an event for staff and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to talk to staff and member organisations with RAPs.
Implement cultural awareness training for all staff in the organisation to be delivered by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples/First Australians cultural awareness training provider.
Introduce our staff to NAIDOC Week by promoting community events in our local area.
Develop and implement a plan to raise awareness and understanding of the meaning and significance behind Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country protocols (including any local cultural protocols).
Develop a Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Plan within our organisation.
Investigate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity.