Reconciliation Action Plan

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan July 2019 – July 2021

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Reconciliation Action Plan July 2019–21

Our vision for reconciliation in Australia is that we have a fair and just society where everyone is equal.

Our second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) builds on the foundation established through our first RAP and makes reconciliation part of our everyday business.

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

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.

Reconciliation champions 

To advance the development of an implementation of our RAP, we have established Reconciliation Champions Network that includes 32 staff members from a range of positions and locations across our organisation. Importantly, the network includes our CEO and a representative from our Board which reflects our committment to the RAP outcomes in our strategic decision making. 

We established the network in response to lessons learnt from our first RAP and feedback from staff that they wanted to be more involved and connected to the RAP. A large number of staff expressed interest in joining the network, displaying a clear passion and commitment to reconciliation. 

The RAP Champions are active and positive leaders for reconciliation across our organsation. They will help their colleagues understand and embrace the RAP actions throughout the two-year life of the plan. 

Taking action

The RAP outlines many significant undertakings over the next two years, with the primary focus on ensuring services are culturally safe, responsive and accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The actions we will take are grounded in relationships, respect and opportunities, and will provide pathways to employment and career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, form strong partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and communities, provide high-quality and culturally sensitive services.

Relationships

Strong relationships with Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations are vital to our position of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s self-determination.

The targets in the relationship section of the RAP are designed to progress the reconciliation dimensions of unity and race relations by building and maintaining key internal and external relationships. The objective of these relationships is to ensure coordinated delivery of our services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Respect

The foundations of respect will be built and maintained through education, which focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights. Cultural awareness and cultural competency requires continuous learning for us to be a culturally safe and responsive organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and staff.

The section focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training and services. This focus area is designed to progress the reconciliation dimensions of historical acceptance, unity and institutional integrity.

Opportunities

We acknowledge that increased employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples contributes to supporting Aboriginal self-determination. We aims to increase our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce so that it is reflective of the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients we serve.

The importance of a diverse workforce is essential to achieving services that are culturally safe and responsive to our clients. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff bring unique knowledge, skills and expertise to the workforce and understand the needs and aspirations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Our aim is to increase employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in both legal and non-legal roles, while ensuring a career pathway with professional

development is provided for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. This focus area is designed to progress the reconciliation dimensions of equality and equity, and institutional integrity.

Read the plan

Read our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan July 2019–21 (pdf, 9.33 MB) or the accessible Word version (4.62 MB).

Contact

For more information contact Alan Dewis, Associate Director, Aboriginal Services (03) 9280 3852 Alan.Dewis@vla.vic.gov.au

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