RAP update

24 November 2017

This year, The University of Queensland (UQ) employed a project manager to coordinate the collaborative development of UQ’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at the Innovate level.

This RAP level enables UQ to build on established relationships and to test and pilot innovations in its core business.  RAP governance includes a Steering Committee co-chaired by UQ’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj and Gaja/ Aunty Kerry and a RAP Working Group co-chaired by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit Director, Mr Shane Drahm and Project Manager, Ms Nell Angus. 

Since June, the RAP Working group have met to populate and refine actions and deliverables for the UQ’s Innovate RAP.  Reconciliation Australia have a number of required actions including those for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, organisational engagement with Communities, RAP governance, cultural protocol development, supplier diversity, participation in National Reconciliation Week and cultural education for staff.

In addition, the Working Group has proposed actions and deliverables with respect to a university-wide approach to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolment, retention and success, curriculum development, ethical and culturally appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in University decision-making and cultures, stories, artefacts and/ or languages in built and physical spaces.

Two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community forums were held in early November and eleven themes emerged from the consultation.  Themes include cultural events, protocols and education, frequent inclusion and engagement, Indigenous workforce, advocacy and leadership, governance, inclusive research, external partnership, knowledge ownership and physical and digital environments.

Many of the themes directly align with the actions and deliverables developed by the RAP Working Group.  Next steps for the RAP development include working with the RAP Working Group to ensure Community and Steering Committee feedback are captured in preparation to submit a draft to Reconciliation Australia in December.

In February next year, Nell Angus and members of the RAP Working Group will be holding staff reconciliation forums at each of the UQ campuses.  Mr Zachary Frazer as part of his Summer Scholar program will run student reconciliation activities and forums at each of the campuses during Orientation week and the first couple of weeks in Semester 1.  Keep an eye out for the advertisements, if you would like to be a part of reconciliation at UQ.

(Members of the Reconciliation Action Plan Working group participating in workshops).