Reporting on our reconciliation action plan

Reporting on our reconciliation action plan

Monday, 24 September 2018

It's been three years since we launched our first reconciliation action plan (RAP), committing to improving the quality and quantity of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and providing better support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our workplace. The evaluation reports on progress, appropriateness and effectiveness of this RAP.

'The evaluation tells us that there is a strong perception that the RAP is having a positive impact at Victoria Legal Aid and that it has created a "culture of permission" for staff to pursue RAP-related activities.  However, we can improve the way we embed the RAP priorities, to ensure they are not just an "add on" but part of our planning and accountability processes at all levels. This will be one of the key focuses as we develop our next RAP,' said Craig Cairney, Acting Associate Director, Aboriginal Services. 

'Our corporate priorities also include a commitment to improving access to our legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. This is a step in the right direction and aligns with recommendations from the evaluation,' said Craig. 

Staff and stakeholders from across regional and metropolitan Victoria participated in the evaluation. 

Key findings 

  • The creation of the of Associate Director, Aboriginal Services and the Aboriginal Community Engagement (ACE) Officers roles have played a key role in enhancing our capacity to move towards greater cultural awareness and cultural competency. Our staff strongly support and participate in reconciliation activities.
  • Aboriginal employment pathways are a key priority, with our Aboriginal Clerkships and New Lawyers Programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyers gaining momentum.
  • Barriers for effective implementation include ambiguity over ownership of the RAP and alignment of RAP priorities with corporate priorities and planning processes. 
  • There is a need to strengthen our work addressing systemic issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
  • Our staff are aware of the need to further develop our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities and community legal services.

More information

Read the Summary Report – Implementation of Victoria Legal Aid’s First Reconciliation Action Plan (pdf, 385.89 KB)

If you require an accessible version of this document please email evaluation@vla.vic.gov.au

Read more about our Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–18

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