Advocacy in Action - 2019 National Reconciliation Action Plan Conference

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The 2019 National RAP Conference was held on Whajuk Noongar country for the first time, held at RAC Arena. The conference theme was ‘Walking Together, Working Together’ and aimed to explore the importance of meaningful partnerships in advancing reconciliation. Research and Communications Officer, Alice Leggett attended the conference and has written the following article.

With fantastic keynote speakers including Noongar community leaders Glen Kelly and Narelda Jacobs along with The Hon Fred Chaney AO, the conference was a powerful two days of truth-telling, listening, learning and reflection.

Though the learnings were vast, Alice’s key findings were:

  • Reconciliation must be rooted in an understanding of context and Australia’s colonial past and present;
  • While place-based reconciliation can be challenging it is ultimately healing;
  • It is important to engage our spheres of influence in an engaging way, encouraging senior/executive leadership to be champions of reconciliation;
  • We must engage in truthful dialogue about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage but from a strength-based perspective;
  • Measuring impact is difficult and context-dependant but necessary to ensure accountability.

Continuing in the same vein as 2019 Reconciliation Week’s theme, ‘Grounded in Truth’, there was much discussion at the conference around the importance of deep listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons. Additionally, we must share the truth about our collective past and present while recognising the strength and resilience of Indigenous communities.

Attending the conference was a privilege for Alice, and the Committee is looking forward to continuing their strong support of the reconciliation movement. As a part of our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) we pledge our ongoing commitment to reconciliation and embedding these processes within our organisation. Download our RAP here.


Other articles from Insight, December 2019 (view email newsletter):