Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) lays the foundation for our company's commitment to relationships, respect, and opportunities. With this plan, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) looks forward to leading the conversation of Reconciliation in the built environment.
We are proud to have completed our first RAP in 2018, which was 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. We recognise that we are in a unique position to influence the way our industry considers reconciliation within the context of placemaking.
A 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, we have 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.
Following the completion of Reflect RAP, we are now in the process of upgrading an Innovate RAP. The Innovate RAP will focus on helping the GBCA to gain a deeper understanding of our sphere of influence and further developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities. We expect to have our Innovate RAP approved by September 2023.
Below we take a look at some of the progress we have made with these commitments on our RAP journey:
In examining how the Green Star rating system can recognise and reward placemaking that honours our First Australians, we developed the ‘Indigenous Inclusion’ credit within the new Green Star Buildings rating tool. The credit requires visible and inclusive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the design and construction of a project. Comprising two pathways to achieve points, projects can target either a Reconciliation Action Plan or Incorporation of Indigenous Design.
Projects using the Reconciliation Action Plan pathway are required to have a project specific RAP of which 90% of targets are met, a key member of the project team part of the organisational RAP working group and public reporting on the RAP actions.
To target the Incorporation of Indigenous Design, projects need to use Indigenous design and planning principles that are adopted from the Australian Indigenous Design Charter:
We all recognise that these are the steps on a long journey. A journey which will identify new opportunities to deepen the relationships. respect and trust which is critical to reconciliation and to build a sustainable future where no one is left behind.