What a day – the RAP launch

Almost two years ago, Bonnie’s committed to actively join the journey to reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. The whole team at Bonnie’s, including our staff and our Board, have been working towards this together since then. The commitment comes from the bottom up – as well as from the top down!

We’ve been developing an action plan with the guidance of Reconciliation Australia and this month we saw it all come together with the launch event of our RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan).

The other day someone asked me why we didn’t just launch the RAP online and announce on social media. Wouldn’t that have been easier? Well, yes and it’s a good question considering we’re always prioritising and stretched for time.

 

Firstly, we wanted to celebrate the RAP with our friends and community and emphasise how special it is to us. It represents a lot of thinking, cultural awareness training and commitment. Secondly, we wanted to make a pledge to everyone on the day to show that we are serious about taking action. We all know that when it comes to reconciliation, many, many good plans get lost and forgotten. Not our RAP. We wanted to hold the launch so people could bear witness to our intentions and on April 11th, that’s exactly what we did.

  

It was a beautiful day as we gathered in our colourful downstairs area. We had a great turnout. Our guests included Chris Hayes, the Federal Member for Fowler, Guy Zangari, Local Member for Fairfield and the Shadow Minister for Police, Paul Lynch, the Local Member for Liverpool and many wonderful members of our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. In keeping with Bonnie’s usual style, it was a very relaxed event with official guests not sitting down the front as usual… but amongst us. All rubbing shoulders, sitting and mingling together – already an expression of what we are working towards.

 

I introduced people who didn’t really know each other and the launch was buzzing with great conversation. People felt welcomed and comfortable. They weren’t rushing to get out afterwards. They stayed after the event and chatted. Savannha Roberts, the RAP Program Officer from Reconciliation Australia summed up the feeling so well when she told me, ‘As soon as I walked in, it felt just like being home’.

I loved hearing that. Knowing that people who visit Bonnie’s will say to others, ‘It’s ok to go there – the space is safe, it’s a good place to go and get help.’ That was one of the real highlights for me.

 

The launch brought a great sense of achievement for Bonnie’s that day. We will keep you posted with our progress on our website. We have created a special page. You can download a copy of the RAP there and watch our progress as we post news of our milestones. The RAP launch is a wrap!

Written by Tracy Phillips

Photos by Bonnie’s team

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