Why our RAP matters

On April the 11th we at Bonnie’s will be launching our very first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Our RAP has been a long time in the making, and we are immensely proud to have had the guidance of community leaders, Norma Burrows from Liverpool Council, and Delphine Leslie from South West Sydney Local Health District, who have worked with us over the past couple of years to guide the process.

Our RAP marks the formalisation of our service’s commitment to keep working on strengthening relationships, opportunities and respect for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It is a business plan of large and small activities that we commit to achieving over the next two years. Some of these activities include:

  • Developing a Bonnie’s service brochure specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children;
  • Supporting cultural exchange learning opportunities for all of our staff;
  • Actively encouraging all of our staff to prioritise and participate in events of significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Continue to encourage all of our staff to include an Acknowledgement of Country at the start of all meetings;
  • Reviewing our HR policies to ensure there are no barriers to our staff participating in NAIDOC week events;
  • Continue to engage with existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and external advisors to consult on recruitment, employment and retention strategies, including professional development opportunities;
  • Develop at least one commercial relationship with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander owned business;
  • Ensure that our clients are advised of other available community services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific services when they are leaving Bonnie’s.

We will be formally accountable to our RAP Working Group, including our external RAP Advisors, and to Reconciliation Australia for fulfilling our commitments. By publishing the RAP on our website, as a living timeline, we also hope to be accountable to YOU.

We understand that the journey to reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters is a journey that is premised on the generous tolerance and patience of these communities, as well as on our willingness to work hard and determinedly in the demonstration of our commitment to social justice for our First Nation’s People.

Personally, it is a tremendous privilege to be involved in facilitating the development of this RAP with Bonnie’s and with our external community RAP Advisors. As a migrant to this country and through many years of working with Aboriginal communities throughout Australia, I have borne witness to the heart-breaking impacts of racism on these communities and also in the lives of my Aboriginal friends and colleagues.

Having the opportunity to address this social injustice by being part of an organisation that genuinely values our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, and that works hard to do our bit to rectify injustices respectfully, and with humility, feels highly important and significant to me; it is a true joy to be able to come to a workplace where my personal passion and my values for social justice for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, align with the values of my colleagues and the work that we do. We may not be perfect, and we may make mistakes along the way, but the fact that we are all working together earnestly towards achieving equality, is so very precious to me.

We will be promoting the launch of our RAP on our Facebook page, and also here on our web site, where you will be able to read the RAP action items and monitor our progress against achieving each of our commitments. Please come on the journey with us by keeping up to date with our RAP implementation process – the path to Reconciliation affects all of us.

Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.

Written by Catherine

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