Reconciliation Action Plan
Belconnen Community Service (BCS) is proud to be among the hundreds of Australian businesses, organisations and institutions that have made a public, measurable commitment to support reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians, through the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Our first RAP was launched in March 2012. During its twelve months of operation, we made progress on over 95% of our measurable targets. We broadened our knowledge of the current issues that contribute to the unacceptable gap in life-expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians. We developed new programs and expanded others. We made new friends and strengthened existing relationships. We now offer our employees cultural awareness training that is specially tailored to our organisation’s key focus areas. We created partnerships and provided opportunities for others to collaborate and develop their own projects and partnerships. We learnt new skills, new ways of thinking and new ways of speaking. We also discovered more about what we have yet to learn.
Our second RAP will operate from 2013-2015. Drawing on experience from the implementation of our first RAP, we are now in the position to present a more long term vision. Our second RAP will align closely with the new reporting system developed by Reconciliation Australia. It will build on our previous strengths in the areas of respect and recognition. It will celebrate our strong relationships and nurture future growth. It will also present a new set of opportunities for BCS to contribute to the education, training and employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.
BCS’s RAP Working Group includes long-standing members and new faces. It’s representative of a broad range of our program and service areas including Executive, People and Culture, Child, Youth and Family Support, Community Development, Early Childhood Education and Care, and Disability Services.
We are fortunate to have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from within and outside of our organisation contribute their wisdom and skills to our journey. Some are current or former RAP Working Group members and others are our community sector partners. Local elders have generously shared their time and thoughts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have attended our events or participated in our programs and services have provided feedback which has helped to guide our journey. We are grateful for all of their contributions and we look forward to fruitful, ongoing engagement.