Making reconciliation our everyday business

Making reconciliation our everyday business

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan July 2019 – July 2021

Today we proudly launched our second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), as part of our National NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The RAP outlines how we will work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to ensure the services we provide are culturally safe, accessible and responsive. 

‘The plan builds on the foundation established through our first RAP and makes reconciliation part of our everyday business,’ Louise Glanville, CEO, Victoria Legal Aid

The RAP formalises our ongoing commitment to driving change across the Victorian justice system, addressing disadvantage and improving justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria. 

‘Our role in the justice system means we have a responsibility to provide high quality, culturally sensitive services and tackle disadvantage by forming strong partnerships with Aboriginal organisations and communities,’ said Louise. 

The RAP outlines many significant undertakings over the next two years, including increasing our number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. 

‘We’re aiming to improve employment opportunities, increase professional development and career advancement opportunities, and ultimately become an employer of choice, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,’ said Louise. 

The RAP was developed in consultation with our First Nations Staff Network, Djirra, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) and Reconciliation Australia. 

Associate Director, Aboriginal Services, Alan Dewis said: ‘Working collaboratively will be fundamental to creating positive change for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and staff. I look forward to nurturing and strengthening our relationships, particularly with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Djirra.’ 

In a supporting statement of the RAP, Djirra CEO, Antionette Braybrook expressed her support for our approach to reconciliation commenting: ‘We are looking forward to working with VLA to implement the plan and remain a dedicated supporter of VLA’s Reconciliation Action Plan.’

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service CEO, Nerita Waight also reflected during consultations that they are: ‘pleased to have been a part in the process of developing the Reconciliation Action Plan and believe that this will not only deepen the relationship between VLA and VALS but also ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel a sense of inclusion and recognition, whether they are seeking the services of VLA or choosing to work at VLA.’

Focus of the plan 

The RAP aims to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the justice system by:

  • Ensuring we have a culturally safe and responsive legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
  • Being an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that is respectful, inclusive and provides a career path for professional development and career advancement.
  • Strengthening our relationships with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) and Djirra (formerly Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Service Victoria) and working in partnership to support the legal needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through legal education, advice and representation. 
  • Jointly advocating for reforms to policies and practices that negatively impact on the legal rights, safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Establishing meaningful relationships with non-legal Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (for example, health and housing services) to meet the broader needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Find out more 

Download and read more about our Reconciliation Action Plan July 2019–21

Media enquiries

Contact Senior Communications Advisor Sally Johnston on 0427 607 854 or email sally.johnston@vla.vic.gov.au

Contact Senior Communications Advisor Daisy Smith on 0448 043 637 or email daisy.smith@vla.vic.gov.au

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