Reconciliation Action Plan May 2021 - May 2024
BSL has a vision for reconciliation that shows a country where Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy equal opportunities for participation in our community.
Our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) offers a dynamic framework for our organisation to reflect on present and past injustices, to learn with humility, and work with intentional focus to ensure that economic, social and civic opportunities in our prosperous nation are shared with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have original claim to its abundance.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples and the Traditional Custodians of this land and waterways, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world.
BSL recognises the overwhelming evidence of the impact of colonisation, dispossession, removal of children from their families and other adverse laws, policies and practices on the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
What we commit to:
In keeping with the values of BSL to seek the common good through compassion, with a generosity of spirit and reliance on evidence, we aim to progress reconciliation based on recognition and respect by committing to the following:
- Deepening and further building our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, families and communities.
- Acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and Traditional Ownership and through engaging staff.
- Ensuring our services are culturally appropriate and culturally safe.
- Increasing the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in all aspects of our organisation’s work.
- Monitoring our actions and regularly reporting our progress to our Board and to Reconciliation Australia.
What we will work towards
Over the next three years to 2024, we will work towards the following key outcomes:
- Local engagement plans in our key geographies to support access to, and the delivery of, culturally safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Thus, enabling effective, respectful and purposeful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, groups, businesses and organisations.
- Through these engagement plans, our staff will have increased awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific policies and programs, and improved knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories
- Our services and sites will be culturally safe and appropriate, with local service plans that are informed by consultation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Elders, groups and organisations; with Acknowledgement of Country; and resources and referral pathways to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and agencies.
- Increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation among our staff, managers and volunteers, by embracing recruitment and management practices that contribute to a culturally safe organisation.
- Our staff will be familiar with our RAP, its goals and targets, and how their work contributes to its implementation.
- Our service user communities will have a better awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and issues through our promotion of reconciliation and the RAP actions.
- Our programs, research and advocacy agenda will make a meaningful contribution to improving economic, social, education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A note about our BSL RAP logo
Our new RAP logo was created by talented Wagiman artist, Tara Butterworth. Tara worked at BSL for two years as a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) for the NDIS based in Niddrie, Melbourne.
“As a young Wagiman artist I was honoured to be asked by the BSL Reconciliation Committee to create a new logo for the BSL Stretch RAP 2021-2024. The new logo titled ‘In it Together’ was inspired by the 2020 National Reconciliation Week theme. To support my logo, I have developed a key to show what the varying elements represent about working together in safe environment to share our stories, values and ideas that we wish to achieve for Reconciliation at BSL”.- Tara Butterworth.