What is the RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan)?
The RAP is a plan that mobilises staff of The Foundation around the theme of reconciliation. It encourages staff to look for and take advantage of opportunities to support Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Australian businesses.
The Fred Hollows Foundation’s new two-year Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for 2016-2018, emphasises the importance of working with Indigenous Australians and on ensures the entire workforce is more aware of the importance of reconciliation.
The RAP represents the next stage of The Foundation’s reconciliation journey to continue Fred’s passion and desire for equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This plan builds upon the previous RAP from 2011, and focuses more on practical, internal actions we can take to help further our understanding of reconciliation.
Why did The Foundation develop a RAP?
In 1968, Fred Hollows was invited to fly up to a rural camp in Gurindji in the Northern Territory. There, he became especially concerned about the high number of young and old suffering from trachoma - a treatable eye disease rarely found in the rest of Australia.
As he set out to address the inequalities in eye health through his work, Fred began to see and understand the huge injustices that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in all facets of life.
His deep commitment to, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly their rights to good health and their right to sight, is at the cornerstone of The Fred Hollows Foundation, and has helped shape our vision for reconciliation.
While the key part of our mission is to work with partners to deliver high quality and culturally appropriate eye care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote and underserved areas of Australia, we are also concerned with supporting Indigenous Australians other ways. This is why we developed our latest Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
What are we doing?
We believe that reconciliation is part of our organisational responsibility and we at The Fred Hollows Foundation, can do more within the organisation itself to promote the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and other Australians.
The Fred Hollows Foundation aims to achieve these goals by making practical applications within the organisation to help close the gap.
We have developed a commercial relationship with Supply Nation, an organisation that will connect The Foundation with Indigenous companies that provide goods and services. This allows us to help close the gap in a very practical way, so when Foundation needs to buy photocopy paper, Supply Nation can connect us with an Indigenous business that sells it. Or, if we have an event that requires catering, Supply Nation can organise for an Indigenous catering service to provide it.
The Reconciliation Action Plan is about helping staff become more aware of the reconciliation process but it also has practical applications.
Brian Doolan, CEO
In order to deepen our understanding and cultural awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, The Foundation commits to developing and implementing a cultural awareness learning and development strategy for our staff. This includes online and face to face workshops and culturally immersive events.
About 10% of our staff are Indigenous Australians and we plan to improve and increase outcomes for these staff within the workplace. This involves:
- Developing and implementing
- Developing an internal leadership mentor program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
- Developing strategies to ensure that we maintain at least of 50% self-identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in our Indigenous Australia Program (IAP).
- Engaging with existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to consult on employment strategies, including professional development and mentoring.
Our commitment will ensure that we continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians so that their experiences and perspectives are acknowledged and valued at all levels of our organisation.
We want to continue to engage with and support Indigenous Australians in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner, as well all work towards closing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.