Our Founder and CEO Cherie Johnson recently had the privilege of presenting a session on how to write a Reconciliation Action Plan at the Indigenous Leadership Summit held in Sydney in mid-November 2022.

Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan is a journey and a collaborative partnership with Reconciliation Australia. Reconciliation Australia has been inundated with RAPs for review, feedback and approval and this tells us that the climate is right, organisations are motivated and people are authentic in wanting to make change.

Our job at Speaking in Colour, is to help those allies understand the best way forward and to show a true respect for partnership when developing their RAPs. We have put together our top 10 tips on how to write an effective RAP, let us know in the comments if there is anything we should add.

  1. Know your why. Why is your organisation writing one?
  2. Align your actions and deliverables to your strategy- meaning, what is your Aboriginal lens of what you are doing.
  3. What does DONE look like? If time and money wasn’t an issue, what would you aim for?
  4. Be clear on what you want to achieve, this informs who you should have on the committee, it will be logical.
  5. Conduct a learning needs analysis to understand where staff understanding is compared to where you want it to be and develop a learning plan to equip them.
  6. Ask yourself who is responsible for developing and implementing your plan? Many times this responsibility falls to Aboriginal staff which begs the question, should it be their responsibility to help your organisation reconcile?
  7. Identify the barriers to understanding reconciliation and make a plan to address these.
  8. Flip the barriers into opportunities.
  9. Keep the reminder, RAPs are working documents – they should be updated, reviewed and used, not sit on a shelf.
  10. Map what you are already doing, you very well may have a lot of low hanging fruit you can capitalise on.
  11. One last tip just because… the first step is the most awkward.

Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan isn’t just for your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and clients, it’s for everyone because we’re all Australian. This is your organisation’s way of acknowledging and welcoming countries in a way that actually does honour and acknowledge people and Country.

Get in touch if you need help with your reconciliation journey or book in to our How to write an effective Reconciliation Action Plan workshop