Why we’re developing a Reconciliation Action Plan

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It's National Reconciliation Week, and here at Hardie Grant we're taking steps to engage with our local Indigenous communities.

Hardie Grant Media

This week is National Reconciliation Week (27 May–3 June), which we’re recognising with an important and ongoing commitment. At a group level, Hardie Grant is developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), recognising the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian culture, history and identity.

A RAP is both a process and a document that provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement. Hardie Grant has established a RAP Working Group, with representatives from different parts of the business – as well as the Melbourne and Sydney offices – developing a ‘Reflect RAP’ in order to build the foundations for further meaningful and sustainable initiatives.

An outline of the Hardie Grant RAP

Actions for the Reflect RAP include reaching out to the local Indigenous communities in both Melbourne and Sydney, raising awareness of Indigenous issues among staff, encouraging participation in significant events, and building Indigenous networks including staff, suppliers and creators. We also want to make sure we are generally conscious and respectful of our Aboriginal heritage – for example through including an acknowledgement of country at events.

The RAP builds on steps Hardie Grant has already taken towards reconciliation in the past, such as supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (our focus charity for 2018), working with the CareerTrackers Indigenous Intern Program, and of course publishing many fantastic books by Indigenous authors and illustrators, including the recent travel release Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton.  
The cover of Marcia Langton's Welcome to Country book

Upcoming office activities

The first major event as part of our RAP will be occurring as part of National Reconciliation Week, which was established to commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision in 1992. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’, so we encourage everyone to follow these links to learn about these historical events, or to read more on the NRW website.

Tying into this theme, and also our aim to connect with local Indigenous communities, we will have representatives from the Wurundjeri Tribe Council in Melbourne and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council in Sydney coming to speak on the Indigenous history and living culture of the Yarra and Sydney areas at our respective offices.

We also have a number of other activities coming up this year, including an event to mark NAIDOC Week (8–15 July 2018), which is held to highlight the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s theme is ‘Because of Her, We Can!’ so we’ll look forward to celebrating the amazing contribution of Indigenous women – such as Marcia Langton – in Australia.

Thumbnail image features Uncle Jimmy, an Indigenous Australian educator who spoke to our Sydney office this week about the rich heritage of the Gadigal people.