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What is a RAP? And Should Your Organisation be Developing One?

Recently, I've been approached (along with Keipa Boodja Aboriginal Corporation) to assist in developing Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) for a few organisations in the South West.

But a lot of companies and businesses are scratching their heads, thinking "what is a RAP and why am I hearing about them all the time currently?"

A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a strategic document that outlines an organisation's commitment to building stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. RAPs are designed to provide a framework for organisations to take practical steps towards reconciliation and to create a culture of respect and inclusivity.

Luke from Great Minds Media, me, Lauren from Yellow Digital, and Aunties Gail and Annette at Enable WA.
Luke from Great Minds Media, me, Lauren from Yellow Digital, and Aunties Gail and Annette at Enable WA.

The RAP is a comprehensive strategy that outlines an organisation's goals, actions, and timelines for achieving reconciliation. It typically includes commitments such as building cultural awareness and understanding, creating employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and developing relationships with Indigenous communities.

You may think you don't need a RAP, and that your business is inclusive already. But is it really? Or could it be more welcoming to Aboriginal and Torres Strait customers?

Organisations should have a RAP for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it demonstrates a commitment to reconciliation and can help to build trust with Indigenous communities.

Secondly, it can help to identify opportunities for engagement and collaboration with Indigenous communities, which can lead to better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Finally, it can provide a framework for organisations to assess their progress towards reconciliation and to continually improve their practices and policies.

Types of RAPs

The three types of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) are:

Reflect RAP: This type of RAP is an entry-level plan that helps organisations to build a foundation for reconciliation. It focuses on raising awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures and histories, and includes commitments to cultural awareness training and engaging with Indigenous communities.

This is the type of RAP I am currently engaged with for Enable WA and soon, Forrest Personnel.

Innovate RAP: An Innovate RAP builds on the foundation established by a Reflect RAP and includes more specific and measurable commitments to create employment and training opportunities for Indigenous peoples, as well as promoting Indigenous business and procurement practices.

Stretch RAP: A Stretch RAP is the most advanced type of RAP and includes a broader range of commitments that extend beyond the organisation to include the broader community. It aims to make a significant contribution to reconciliation and includes commitments to addressing systemic barriers and creating positive social change.

It's important to note that each RAP is tailored to the specific organisation's needs, capacity, and goals, and the type of RAP that an organisation chooses to implement will depend on their level of readiness and commitment to reconciliation. The key is to develop a RAP that is meaningful, achievable, and sustainable.

Ready to start yours?

If you organisation needs support and insights into the development of a Reflect, Innovate, Stretch or Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan, feel free to get in touch.

Just like Enable WA and Forrest Personnel!

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