According to the 2018 RAP Impact Measurement Report, over 1,000 organisations across have formalised their commitment to reconciliation by developing a RAP. Every RAP document is developed in accordance with three core pillars: relationships, respect and opportunities. There are four stages of RAP documents, with each designed to suit organisations at different stages of their journey: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate.
‘Reflect’ RAPS set out the steps for an organisation to take in preparation for future reconciliation initiatives.
‘Innovate’ documents focus on developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, developing and piloting innovative strategies for empowerment.
‘Stretch’ RAPs implement longer-term strategies, defining measurable targets and goals. They require organisations to embed reconciliation initiatives into business strategies, to make these practices ‘business as usual’.
To have an ‘Elevate’-stage RAP, organisations must have a strong strategic relationship with Reconciliation Australia, must actively champion initiatives to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and to create societal change. This RAP requires a greater level of transparency and accountability through independent assessment of the organisation’s activities.
Why have a RAP?
RAPs are a powerful way to drive change and contribute to reconciliation in Australian workplaces, universities, schools, government and community organisations. In social, health, educational and economic indicators, large gaps exist between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. RAPs provide a way to:
Formalise an organisation’s commitment to reconciliation;
Implement a tested framework of practical actions;
Demonstrate strong corporate governance practices;
Join other esteemed organisations that are building a more diverse and culturally aware and safe workforce;
Strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders; and
Ensure more effective services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
RAP organisations demonstrate great recognition of the importance of relationships between Indigenous Australians and other Australians – according to the 2018 report, 74% of employees in RAP organisations consider these relationships to be very important for Australia as a nation, compared with 50% of respondents in the broader community.
In 2017, we committed to our first RAP document to foster greater economic and social equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We are focussed on supporting Indigenous leadership and governance in keeping with our mission. Find out more here.
To find out more about developing a RAP for your organisation, visit reconciliation.org.au