Reconciliation Action Plan for Eastwick Events
Eastwick Events has produced 3 NAIDOC concerts for the City of Subiaco as well as numerous Welcome to Country ceremonies. After a recent conversation with Ingrid Cummings Director and Chief of Engagement at The Cultural Connection Code – Conservation and Parks Commission a decision was made to become more culturally aware and produce a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for Eastwick Events.
Reconciliation has both symbolic and practical elements. A spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and recognition of the effects of colonisation on Aboriginal people are the symbolic cornerstones of the reconciliation effort.
On the practical side, working towards an improved quality of life for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly in areas such as health, education and employment, is essential for achieving equality for all Australians.
To reconcile with Aboriginal people it is important to acknowledge the following:
• Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders are the traditional owners of Australia.
• Aboriginal cultures have unique relationships to the land, sea and waterways.
• Some past government policies that applied to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders have led to present-day social problems for Aboriginal communities.
• Recognition of past injustices is essential in building a better future.
• There is no place for racism or discrimination in Australia
Between 2006 and 2011 more than 300 organisations have implemented RAPs, including some of Australia’s largest companies, not-for-profits, government departments, schools and universities.
More than 20,000 people of RAP organisations have completed formal cultural awareness training. Organisations have committed to employing more than 21,000 Aboriginal people, and by May 2012 over 13,000 positions were filled. 1,000 Aboriginal youth were in apprenticeships and traineeships. $26 million were spent purchasing goods and services from certified Aboriginal businesses.
What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)?
Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) provide a framework to directly improve relationships and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. RAPs must be developed in consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders and be measurable, action-oriented and publicly accountable. They may include small initial steps or decisions for major changes. The most inspiring RAPs come from companies that have thought about what reconciliation means to them and how their organisation can make a unique and lasting difference.
What you can include in your RAP:
• Provide cultural awareness training. Encourage all staff to take a keen interest in learning about and celebrating Aboriginal traditional and modern culture. You can have Aboriginal elders speak, distribute fact sheets among staff, or spread the good news about Aboriginal Australia (media already covers the bad news).
• Create jobs for Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people need jobs in corporate Australia, small and large businesses and across all levels of government, and not just in roles dealing with Aboriginal issues. More Aboriginal people should be in management and executive positions, leading community projects, and recruiting and training Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff. Add “Aboriginal applicants welcome” to all your job ads.
• Acknowledge traditional owners. Acknowledge the traditional owners and of Aboriginal people as the custodians of the land at major meetings and events. Let Aboriginal children raise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. Permanently show the flags in your publications, websites, etc.
• Form partnerships. Create positive and productive working partnerships with Aboriginal organisations. Strong relationships bring different skills and perspectives to the table and encourage innovation, success and excellence.
• Sponsor events. Sponsor events in remote Aboriginal communities. Consult with local Aboriginal elders to find out what the community needs, then work with them to help provide these goods or services.
Things to include every day:
• always write “Aboriginal people”, don’t write “Indigenous” or “indigenous”
• invite elders or representatives from Aboriginal communities to tell their story, their view of life
• acknowledge the traditional owners when possible
• involve family, friends, staff to contribute ideas (strengthens awareness of Aboriginal history/culture)
• create a calendar showing Aboriginal events and photos and pieces of information about them
• provide guidance for managers of Aboriginal employees
• create Aboriginal section on the company intranet and/or external internet site
• establish an Aboriginal advisory group
• encourage 3rd parties to demonstrate their engagement/RAP
• develop partnerships with Aboriginal communities
• create Aboriginal sponsorships
• support local Aboriginal programs
• work with the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council
Eastwick Events has however been privileged to produce NAIDOC Week concerts for the City of Subiaco in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and engaged Welcome to Country speakers and performers to a number of other high profile corporate and government events such as Crab Fest for the City of Mandurah (2014, 2015 and 2016) and various other events.
Eastwick Events also completed Cultural Awareness training and seminars in 2010.
Eastwick Events RAP intends to continue to provide the above whilst furthering engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in both performance and crewing event opportunities to deliver projects for clients that positively influence our society’s wellbeing.
Further Eastwick Events will also actively engage others within the events industry to adopt similar protocols in engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within their teams.
For more information on reconciliation:
• Reconciliation Australia
Reconciliation Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2000 by the former Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. They are the peak national organisation building and promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for the wellbeing of the nation.
The Reconcile website was developed pro bono for Reconciliation Australia. Its purpose is to create an online resource for people nationwide to learn and discuss the importance of reconciliation and how we can all go about achieving it.
• Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)
ANTaR is an independent, national network of mainly non-Indigenous organisations and individuals working in support of justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.