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Growing reconciliation Reconciliation Action Plan 2017–2019

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Growing reconciliation: Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019

Growing reconciliationReconciliation Action Plan20172019

Commonwealth of Australia 2017

Cover

The department works to build and support a diverse workforceone that reflects the diversity of the broader Australian community. Staff and rangers featured on the cover are Tahlia Durante, Bruce Lansdown, RakrakpuyMarika and Allan Epong. Photographs: Kerry Trapnell.

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Cataloguing data

This publication (and any material sourced from it) should be attributed as: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 2017 Growing reconciliation: Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019, Canberra. CCBY3.0.

This publication is available at agriculture.gov.au/reconciliation-action-plan.

Travis Power

Assistant Secretary, People Capability

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Postal address GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone 02 6272 4899

Email [email protected]

Web agriculture.gov.au

The Australian Government acting through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has exercised due care and skill in preparing and compiling the information and data in this publication. Notwithstanding, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, its employees and advisers disclaim all liability, including liability for negligence and for any loss, damage, injury, expense or cost incurred by any person as a result of accessing, using or relying upon any of the information or data in this publication to the maximum extent permitted by law.

ContentsDedicationvAcknowledgementvTerms of respectvOur focus areas1Reconciliation Australia themes1Our reconciliation vision2Secretarys message3Champions support4Message from Reconciliation Australia5Who we are and what we do7What we say about reconciliation9Extending respect10Water, Coorong and Ngarrindjeri10Mangarrayi culturecaring for country15Northern futures16Drone technology17Inspired partnerships21Malak Malak Rangers care for country21Rewarding careers24Jawun experience24Collective decisions28Reconciliation Action Plan process28Tracking success32Procurement, pride and prosperity33Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors35Glossary36

TablesTable A1 Cultural learninginforms, reflects and transforms12Table A2 Cultural recognition of the longest-surviving continuous cultures in the world12Table A3 Cultural acknowledgementshows respect, appreciation commitment13Table B1 Economic diversificationstimulates thinking, identifies collaboration19Table B2 Cultural acknowledgementdemonstrates respect and commitment19Table B3 Biosecurity capabilityprotects Australia from exotic pests and diseases19Table C1 Events and celebrationsbuild relationships, deepen unity, value contributions22Table C2 Engagement and communicationcreates connections, informs decisions22Table C3 Partnerships and outreachwith networks, partners and communities23Table D1 Recruitmentincreases number of First Australians employed26Table D2 Retention and developmentlengthens First Australians careers27Table D3 Cultural recognitionof First Australians heritage and cultures27Table E1 Shared decision makinginfluences and promotes self-determination31Table E2 Monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvements of reconciliation32Table E3 Procurementincreases prosperity and shared value34Table E4 Departmental pridepromotes recognition of first Australians.34FiguresFigure 1 Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reconciliation highlights 201220166Figure 2 Reconciliation Action Plan governance structures29

Dedication

This document is dedicated to the collective efforts of all staff who take reconciliation actions. Our voices, wisdom and commitment are reflected in the quotes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors and staff, which appear throughout.

Acknowledgement

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their continuing connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their cultures and Elders past, present and future.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and invite you to join our journey to reconciliation.

Terms of respect

In this document, the terms Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and First Australians are both used. These terms do not reflect the diversity of all peoples. The specific use of the word Indigenous is reserved for proper nouns. We have used standard Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) spellings throughout this document.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this document may contain images, names and quotes of people who have passed away.

Image 1 Kurrajong (Brachychiton)

Photograph: Kat Waterhouse

Growing reconciliation: Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

16

Our focus areas

Extending respect

Northern futures

Inspired partnerships

Rewarding careers

Collective decisions

Reconciliation Australia themes

Relationships

Strong relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians are important to us to build trust and dialogue, advance equality and inclusivity, recognise identity, learn from each other and demonstrate integrity.

Respect

We respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, lands, histories and rights. These are important to our staff, our stakeholders and our communities. Together we foster cultural pride, shared understanding, leadership and capacity, agility and resilience.

Opportunities

Developing opportunities for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities is critical to our success and sustainability. We reward critical thinking, develop teams, innovate systems and technologies, challenge limitations and embrace diversity.

Our reconciliation vision

Our vision is for a reconciled and inclusive Australian society that benefits our staff, our partners, our families and our communities. Our partnerships recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples customs, traditions and diversity. Our commitments are grounded in effective and practical action. Our leadership powerfully effects reconciliation.

Our future workplace is free of racism, all our staff participate equally in career opportunities, our business structures and reconciliation actions are aligned and we recognise that addressing the past is critical to growing our future. Our workplaces and our work are strengthened by our recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their participation.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has developed this Reconciliation Action Plan to set our path towards that future in the next three years.

Image 2 Reconciliation in action

Ambassador Bruce Lansdown and Henry Epong of Mandubarra Aboriginal Land and Sea Inc

Photograph: Kerry Trapnell

When the day comes that we can all work together and see people as people without judgementthats the day reconciliation happens and we are truly working together as people. Bruce Lansdown, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Cairns.

Secretarys message

From the northernmost tip of Torres Strait through to the Southern Ocean, and from east to west, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has a broad reach. We also have significant long-term relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We work with the oldest continuous living cultures on the planet.

Reconciliation is fundamental to the work we do and how we do it.

We recognise the past and are investing in the future. Our practice of reconciliation turns opportunities into practical action that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve equality in all aspects of lifeand this benefits all Australians.

The Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019 outlines the five focus areas where our energy, wholehearted commitment and resources will fundamentally alter the future:

extending respect

northern futures

inspired partnerships

rewarding careers

collective decisions.

Daryl Quinlivan

Secretary and Indigenous Champion

Champions support

Our Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019 (RAP) articulates our commitment to deepening unity, building relationships, extending respect and creating opportunities in the department, with our partners and in our communities.

We put reconciliation into practice as we employ more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates and trainees, as demand for labour force in our remote offices increases and as we strengthen procurement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. Our Reconciliation Action Plan 20122016 provided a solid foundation, and this plan builds on that.

Our RAP creates opportunities for our staff to learn and grow. It lays out partnerships with suppliers, businesses, rangers and community groups. It contributes to the livelihoods, landscapes and cultures of our communities. This collective commitment has been made possible by the foresight and dedication of our staff, stakeholders and communities, and we are grateful for this.

We are pleased to share our RAP and invite you to share your reconciliation story with us.

Reconciliation is all of our business.

Lyn OConnell

Deputy Secretary and Indigenous Champion

Message from Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation Australia congratulates the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on its past successes and ongoing commitment to reconciliation as it implements its fourth Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Since the implementation of its first RAP in 2007, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has been a leading advocate for reconciliation and has demonstrated dedication to making progress across the key dimensions of the RAP programrelationships, respect and opportunities.

The department understands the importance of building and maintaining respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to produce mutually beneficial outcomes. It champions these relationships by working to promote and encourage staff relationships with external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders including Elders, schools, universities, regional communities and consultants.

Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures is key to the departments core values and vision for reconciliation. It demonstrates this respect through its commitment to contributing to the elimination of racism by supporting the Racism. It stops with me campaign and engaging with staff to sign a pledge to the campaign.

The department is dedicated to driving reconciliation through employment and training outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It demonstrates this in its actionable goal to provide leadership training and talent development opportunities to 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees per year.

The departments Stretch RAP signifies its deep commitment to reconciliation in the organisation and across its sphere of influence. On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I commend the department on its Stretch RAP, and I look forward to following its ongoing reconciliation journey.

Justin Mohamed

Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia

Growing reconciliation: Reconciliation Action Plan 20172019

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

1

Figure 1 Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reconciliation highlights 20122016

IPP Indigenous Procurement Policy

Note: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources staff were asked to complete the Reconciliation Australia Workplace Reconciliation Barometer Survey between 19 August and 9 September 2016.

Who we are and what we do

We help drive a stronger Australian economy by building a more profitable, resilient and sustainable agriculture sector and by supporting the sustainable and productive management and use of rivers and water resources.

The department has a wide domestic and international presence in more than 300 locations around Australia and 16 countries around the world.

We work in airports, mail centres, shipping ports, quarantine facilities, laboratories, abattoirs and offices in cities, regional centres and rural communities throughout Australia and overseas.

Our skills and experience are diverse. We are policy officers, programme administrators, scientists, researchers, economists, accountants, information and communication technology specialists, veterinarians, meat inspectors, survey staff, biosecurity officers and more.

Our work involves collaboration and consultation with many other Australian Government and state and territory agencies. Our partnerships and client base are broad and include primary industries, importers and exporters, consumers, rural and regional communities, and travellers.

We employ over 5,000 people across this broad range of activities around Australia, and 108of those self-identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or both. In areas such as biosecurity and natural resource management (also known as caring for country), these roles may be considered a natural progression from traditional land and sea custodial relationships.

I am determined to make a difference for my people. I want to go back to my school and tell everyone about my job. Dakota Killer, Melbourne International Airport, Victoria.

Image 3 Inspecting a leaf for pathogens

Solodi Buthungguliwuy accepted the 2016 Indigenous Land Management Award at the National Landcare Awards on behalf of Crocodile Islands Rangers.

Photograph: Kerry Trapnell

Reconciliation means equality and everyone being able to work together. My reconciliation journey as an ambassador is to promote, support and clarify the importance of reconciliation to the staff in my region. Kim Bland, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Post Entry Quarantine, Mickleham, Victoria

What we say about reconciliation

The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group was established in April 2016. These statements were made at the first meeting in response to the open question what does reconciliation mean to you? The statements enabled group members to create a vision. Once spoken, these statements added momentum, inspired development of the plan and united and connected members. Working group members said reconciliation:

will be achieved when we no longer just talk about it its a part of everyday life

results from working through issues together and building common ground and common goals

deepens when we have real understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences and cultures

means seeing the whole personnot just their culture or race

occurs when we are connected to nature and recognise the spirit that unites us

is a privilege for those who look after our land and water

takes time to recognise and learn from past political and historical events

requires action in the present to transform our collective future

is part of what shifts social disadvantage

has deep roots in strong cultural traditions

takes mutual respect and understanding

lives in conversations among and between departmental staff, our primary stakeholders and the wider public and private sectors at individual, family, community, regional, state and national levels

means accepting each other and our diversity

achieves new relationships, creates opportunity and advances respect and recognition

is a vehicle for righting past wrongs

promotes integrity and unity.

To me, reconciliation means all Australians are taking ownership of our shared history and taking a shared responsibility for our future. This relates to not just our history of colonisation but also our development, our military history, our science history, our sporting historyeverything. As a proud ambassador, I am able to contribute to this journey to reconciliation. Dennis Seinor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Sydney regional office.

Extending respectWater, Coorong and Ngarrindjeri

Since 2011 the department has assisted the SA government and the Ngarrindjeri people to care for wetlands south-east of Adelaide through the Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Recovery Project.

The five-year project aims to help manage the Coorong region as a chain of healthy, productive and resilient saltwater lagoons and wetlands of international importance. The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority actively undertakes natural and cultural resource management. Participation in the Coorong project has increased Ngarrindjeri knowledge and understanding of legislation, policy, management and planning processes, and refined natural resource management practices.

The project has provided opportunities for community members to improve capacity and skills to conduct on-ground caring for country work in nurseries, revegetation projects, pest and weed control, and site monitoring. Ngarrindjeri Elders and young people have worked together, facilitating intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge. They have deepened their knowledge of country and improved their natural resource and project management skills. This in turn has led to the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority and its member organisations developing significant training, employment and business opportunities. These opportunities have created employment for Ngarrindjeri people and greatly improved the region and the nation.

The project has improved personal, community and Ngarrindjeri nation resilience. It has built on the interconnections of people, land, water and all living things for more sustainable natural resource management.

Image 4 Eastern reach of Coorong National Park

Photograph: Rachael Boyce

Image 5 Ngarrindjeri Ngopamuldi employees replanting Terringie wetland

Kevin Kropinyeri Jnr (left) and Keith Rigney Jnr (right), at Raukkan.

Photograph: SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

Before the RAP consultation I thought I was the only Indigenous officer in Adelaide, but now another Indigenous officer has identified himself. The ambassadors role is a bit more involved with the network and helping with the RAP and NAIDOC Week. Hedley Vogt, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Adelaide regional office.

Our commitmentsextending respect and recognition

Table A1 Cultural learninginforms, reflects and transforms

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

A1.1 Cultural learning

Increase knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements in the department

Implement and review a cultural learning training strategy that supports staff through online channels, face-to-face workshops and cultural immersion opportunities across national and regional offices

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability supported by AS Science Services

Commence March2017; fully implemented by March2019

4,500 staff (85 per cent) to complete diversity e-learning and 500 staff (or 10percent) to complete Core e-learning a

Diversity e-learning by May 2017 and Core e-learning by April2017

Deliver face-to-face cultural learning to executive staff, RAP implementation group members and supervisors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and graduates

Face-to-face pilot completed by September2017

Pilot and deliver face-to-face cultural competency training to 80percent of biosecurity service delivery staff in community liaison roles

Complete competency training pilot by March2018

Provide supervisors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff with RAP implementation resources in liaison with Reconciliation Australia: target 100supervisors

October 2017

a Core Cultural Learning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia (Core) is an innovative online course designed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in cooperation with the Australian Government and the University of Sydney to strengthen cultural competency.

Table A2 Cultural recognition of the longest-surviving continuous cultures in the world

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

A2.1 NAIDOC week

Recognise and celebrate departmental connection to culture, country and community in NAIDOC Week

Review human resources policies to remove barriers to, and encourage all staff participation in, NAIDOC Week activities

Target 250 staff, 15 stakeholders and 10community partners to participate in internal or public NAIDOC week activities nationally

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

NAIDOC Week annually

Provide opportunities for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to participate in local NAIDOC Week events

Remind all staff and supervisors to accommodate staff participation in cultural and community activities during NAIDOC Week

Secretary

NAIDOC Week annually

A2.2 New media

Recognise and promote the contribution of Indigenous staff across the department and with our stakeholders and communities using websites and social media

Update This is our landthese are our people video and distribute to staff through the internal website (mylink and #thatsmystory); 20percent of staff to access the video link

AS, Design and Change

December 2017

Support and distribute audio recordings of at least five intimate dialogues between staff on reconciliation

AS, Design and Change

June 2018

Table A3 Cultural acknowledgementshows respect, appreciation commitment

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

A3.1 Cultural acknowledgement

Demonstrate respect, appreciation and commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities by embedding cultural acknowledgement and protocols.

Review, update and promote Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country guidelines for departmental ceremonies

Compile public documents on cultural protocols relevant to each state and territory and specific regions. Make these available via the departments intranet site.

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

April annually

Maintain a list of key contacts who deliver a Welcome to Country in each region

AS, Service Delivery and ambassadors

Review annually in May (NRW)

Include an Acknowledgment of Country at the start of important internal meetings; invite Traditional Owners or Custodians to give a Welcome to Country at 10 significant events across Australia each year

Indigenous Champions

Review annually in May (NRW)

Promote Acknowledgement of Country practice by staff through provision of words used in voluntary email signature blocks, lanyard cards and on the departmental internal website

AS, People Capability

March 2017

A3.2 Community language allowance

Acknowledge and encourage the use and retention of local languages in daily use.

Pay the Community Language Allowance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsular area who use a language other than English in their daily work

AS, Science Services

Allowance paid annually in July

A3.3 Eliminate bias and racism

Establish fair and equitable workplaces where diversity is the norm and staff demonstrate a commitment to remove racism

Sign the Australian Human Rights Commission support agreement Racism. It stops with me

50 per cent of Senior Executive Service to sign and promote

Secretary and AS, Design and Change

October 2017

Provide face-to-face unconscious bias training (to recognise and address the barriers that limit opportunities for diversity groups) for 400 staff across all locations

AS, People Capability

Regular workshops in 2017 and 2019

Image 6 Roper River (Mole Hill region), Mangarrayi/Ngalakan country

Map and photograph: Simon Normand

Mangarrayi culturecaring for country

The Mangarrayi lands lie to the south-east of Katherine and include dry country, escarpments, swamps and the cool, shaded creeks and billabongs of the Roper River region. Elsey National Park, on the site of old Elsey Station, forms part of Mangarrayi countrywhich is shared with wallabies, kingfishers, flying foxes, kangaroos and many other species. To the east of the national park, along the banks of the Roper River and Elsey Creek, is the community of Jilkminggan and the home of the Mangarrayi.

At the request of the Jilkminggan community, maps of the country were painted to document the region and its biodiversity, to preserve and pass on the traditional knowledge of the Mangarrayi lands.

The maps were produced through the shared effort of the artist and photographer Simon Normand and the Mangarrayi Elders over many years. Simon was a teacher in the community over 20years ago and, although not Aboriginal, the trust built between him and Mangarrayi people brought life to the maps.

The prints were created through a Caring for our Country grant to the Roper River Landcare Group. Its goal was to assist Mangarrayi people in marrying traditional and contemporary land management knowledge and practices to protect and conserve the resources and biodiversity of their lands while preserving their heritage, law and culture.

The prints are one product of the grant. They were gifted to the department in acknowledgement of its support for this project. With permission of Traditional Custodians and the artist, they were displayed in 2016 in the Canberra offices as part of National Reconciliation Week events.

To me, reconciliation means having a healthy personal and professional respect for all people. It means working together regardless of race, religion, belief or status. We all bleed red! We are all equal! We are all one people! Gayle Heron, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Darwin regional office.

Northern futures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rangers have strengthened biosecurity surveillance across northern Australia for many years. Recently, this has been expanded through funding initiatives identified in the Our north, our future: White Paper on developing northern Australia ($12.4million from 201516 to 201819).

The department has longstanding relationships with Torres Strait Regional Authority (TRSA) land and sea rangers, and their communities, and agencies such as Australian Border Force and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Together we protect land and sea environments from exotic pests, weeds and disease threats.

In 2016 the department hosted a ranger forum. Rangers from across northern Australia came together to develop relationships, exchange knowledge and skills, and build a strong working foundation for collaborative biosecurity services. Future annual meetings are planned. These will not only build our capacity but strengthen our resilience to emerging biosecurity threats.

Before setting fruit fly traps, departmental officers seek support and permission from landowners and Traditional Custodians. The department also works with the Torres Strait community to raise awareness of biosecurity risks, which has resulted in early reporting and responses to exotic pests, weeds and diseases. Officers advise visitors and community representatives on how to maintain high levels of compliance with Torres Strait biosecurity regulations.

Torres Strait rangers experience, knowledge, expertise, professionalism and hard work are critical to biosecurity operations.

Drone technology

The department is extending biosecurity partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is critical to securing the priceless ecological diversity of Australia. The department is supporting this work by recruiting new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, establishing the Indigenous Rangers Biosecurity Network, and developing and delivering tropical biosecurity training for and by rangers and their communities. As a part of this work, the department is piloting the use of drones to support rangers with surveillance of tropical biosecurity.

Rowan Shee, Indigenous Protected Area Manager, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, north of Cairns, explains:

The drones should be useful for weed surveys; for example, at this time of year pond apple sheds a lot of its leaves, and the bare twigs and branches can be much easier to spot from the air compared to trudging through swampy country and riparian areas trying to spot it from under the canopy. Eventually, more advanced drones could be used to survey the length of the upper East Normanby for salvinia weed, saving a four-day remote walk for rangers.

Similarly, the drones should be able to reduce search time on marine debris removal activities. Where the debris collects mainly in smaller sections of the coast, we can head straight to those areas in the boat.

I think flying the drone along access tracks just after the wet will give us a quick picture of how much work is needed to make the track accessible again. In the vehicle, when you get to the first tree fall across the track [you have to decide] is it worth chain-sawing through it and dragging it all away, or are there another 50 tree falls over the next kilometre?

Theyll be useful for getting aerial photos of work sites. At Old Daintree Mission cemetery we think drone imagery will be better at identifying the shallow depressions of old grave sites than just going on foot.

Image 7 Jabalbina rangers display the Phantom 3 drone

Ranger Thomas Houghton (left) and Team Leader Bradley Creek (right).

Photograph: Rowan Shee

Our commitmentsnorthern futures

Table B1 Economic diversificationstimulates thinking, identifies collaboration

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

B1.1 First foods

Identify social and economic diversification opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners and communities

Hold a workshop with relevant stakeholders in portfolio agencies, research and development corporations and authorities of traditional owners to discuss opportunities for the production of traditional foods and fibres

Assistant Secretary (AS), Live Animal Exports

September 2018

Table B2 Cultural acknowledgementdemonstrates respect and commitment

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

B2.1 Permits and access

Demonstrate respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by seeking appropriate permits and access to country

Review, use and promote the departments permit and land access obligations when conducting remote area training, research, meetings and projects on country

AS, Science Services, supported by northern ambassadors

June 2018

Table B3 Biosecurity capabilityprotects Australia from exotic pests and diseases

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

B3.1 Biosecurity

Strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander capacity for biosecurity surveillance across Northern Australia

Employment opportunities

Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranger groups actively delivering biosecurity services across northern Australia by 50percent

Increase the number of identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working in biosecurity in northern Australia by at least six

AS, Science Services

June 2019

June 2018

Training opportunities

Provide opportunities for northern Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rangers in emergency response training: target 30

Establish biosecurity training capability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations: target three organisations to pilot training delivery

December2017

September2018

Skills exchange

A biosecurity-focused network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and sea rangers to be established and meet annually

June 2018

Image 8 Ambassador Eric Cottis investigating illegal fishing debris

Photograph: Kerry Trapnell

I find our department gives a high degree of respect to Traditional Owners and the Custodians of Countrymore than many other government departments. Respect is an essential part of Indigenous culture. Respecting LORE, which is Indigenous law, as well as western law is very important to me. Eric Cottis, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Bamaga

Inspired partnershipsMalak Malak Rangers care for country

The NT Malak Malak Rangers have partnered with the departments Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) programme for more than 25 years to care for 30,000 hectares of land bordering the iconic Daly River between Darwin and Katherine. The department and the Malak Malak Rangers share a common interest in caring for country and people.

The rangers first worked with the department to monitor exotic pests and diseases. Its role has since expanded to include extensive invasive weed management programmes and surveillance of exotic pests and diseases. The rangers breed and distribute biological control species and have successfully eradicated dense infestations of salvinia and mimosa weeds.

The rangers have built on the success of these programmes and expanded into allied programmes. Six rangers have completed a Certificate II in Fisheries Compliance and work regularly with the NT Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Australian Border Force and the NT Police. The Rangers conduct joint patrols with these agencies to identify potential breaches of recreational fishing regulations.

The achievements of the Malak Malak Rangers in the Daly River have raised the profile of their partnership with the department and the NTGovernment.

Image 9 Malak Malak rangers in training

Rangers work with departmental community liaison officers and veterinary officers to minimise biosecurity risk posed by feral pigs.

Photograph: Elizabeth McCrudden

Our commitmentsinspired partnerships extend reconciliation impact

Table C1 Events and celebrationsbuild relationships, deepen unity, value contributions

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

C1.1 National Reconciliation Week (NRW)

Bring people together to build relationships in acknowledgement of NRW

Organise, register with Reconciliation Australia and publicise three events in Canberra and at least one event in each regional office, including Torres Strait

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability, and ambassadors

May (NRW) annually

Sponsor one external NRW event with a community organisation and encourage staff and senior leaders to participate

AS, Design and Change

May (NRW) annually

C1.2 Innovation and awards

Acknowledge all staff efforts and promote reconciliation innovation

Establish guidelines and present a Secretarys award for reconciliation

Establish an innovation fund for piloting new approaches to reconciliation

Indigenous Champions and AS, People Capability

Guidelines and fund by April 2017

Awarded annually in May (NRW)

Table C2 Engagement and communicationcreates connections, informs decisions

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

C2.1 Internal engagement

Communicate directly with a wide range of staff and stakeholders to expand the reach/extent of our RAP

RAP Forum

Promote RAP Forum e-membership to 500 staff, update RAP website and host two face-to-face events annually

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

Annuallyin May (NRW)and in July (NAIDOC Week)

Social media

Investigate and pilot new social media for ambassadors and networks to communicate and build connections

AS, Design and Change

November 2017

Engagement plan

Implement and review a strategy to communicate our RAP to all staff

AS, Design and Change

June 2017

RAP the Grads

Provide 10 reconciliation-themed quiz questions for annual graduate end-of-year fundraising function

Research First Australians charities and support one charity before 2019

AS, People Capability

October annually

Table C3 Partnerships and outreachwith networks, partners and communities

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

C3.1 External networks and outreach

Promote reconciliation through ongoing active engagement with all stakeholders, including networks and portfolio agencies

Networks

Target participation in three regional co-located networks:

the Top End RAP network in Darwin

APS Indigenous Champions network

APSC Indigenous capacity forums in Canberra

Assistant Secretary (AS), Science Services

Indigenous Champions

AS, People Capability

Network meetings quarterly, as prescribed locally

Partners

Promote our RAP with all departmental portfolio agencies

Secretary to write to partner organisations to promote reconciliation and engage 10 agencies

Indigenous Champions

Promote in March 2017 and July 2019

Outreach

Develop staff relationships with four external stakeholders per region per year to encourage staff to engage externally with Elders, guest speakers, consultants, schools, universities and regional community events

First Assistant Secretary, Service Delivery

Reported annuallyin May (NRW) and in July (NAIDOC Week)

Engagement plan

Implement and review our national engagement plan to work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders

Meet local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations in each of nine regions to develop guiding principles for future engagement

AS, Design and Change

November 2017

Ambassadors

August annually

C3.2 Sponsorships and partnerships

Sponsor, partner and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Sponsor three national and three local events/organisations that promote reconciliation goals, such as Garma festival and trade shows

AS, Science Services, supported by AS, People Capability, and all AS, Service Delivery

August annually

Commit to three formal two-way partnerships to build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and/or communities relevant to agriculture and water resources

AS, Science Services supported by AS, Design and Change, AS, People Capability

August annually

Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranger groups undertaking biosecurity work with the department to at least70

AS, Science Services

February 2018

Rewarding careersJawun experience

The Jawun programme builds capacity and exchanges skills through secondments of private and public sector employees to Aboriginal corporations and communities. Kat Waterhouse is a departmental staff member who has undertaken a Jawun secondment. Kat explained how the experience enriched her personally and professionally:

In the language of the Kuku Yalanji people of the Mossman George, Cape York, jawun means friend. My Jawun experience in a Yolu (Yolngu) community about 20 kilometres from Nhulunbuy, in north-east Arnhem Landwhere people remain very strongly connected to culture, community and landled to more than friendship.

My project was to develop a human resources strategy and accompanying policies and processes for Gumatj, an organisation that uses private capital to develop and sustain economic opportunities for Yolu people. I welcomed the professional challenge of a role very different from my usual one, but the real learning for me was outside the office and work hours.

With my public servant hat on, my time on community made me appreciate just how removed policymakers and programme administrators are from the people and communities these programmes affect. A policy tweak in federal government can cascade into really fundamental changes on the ground, especially for the supporting service providers and organisationsoften significant employers in remote communities.

From a personal perspective, I feel very lucky to now know a little about Yolu culture and to have more insight into and awareness of some of the challenges for remote communities particularly. My Jawun experience made me appreciate just how intricate, diverse and complex First Australian cultures are. I feel honoured to have learned from, made friends with and participated in extending the capability of community members.

Image 10 Gluru (East Woody Beach) at sunset

Photograph: Susan Diver-Tuck

Image 11 Farewell message for Jawun programme participants

Note: In Yolu, nhma means see you later.

Photograph: Kat Waterhouse

I encourage the building of a supportive workplace for all of our staff. This will help to focus and support strategies to retain our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. Christine Hoy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Perth regional office.

Reconciliation is very important to me. Being part of the Indigenous network in the North-East has allowed me to promote understanding and awareness of Aboriginal culture. I enjoy teaching people, butIhave also learnt many things about Aboriginal history and tradition that I may not have learnt otherwise. Harry Colbey, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, Brisbane regional office.

Our commitmentsrewarding careers provide opportunities

Table D1 Recruitmentincreases number of First Australians employed

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

D1.1 Recruitment

Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment to achieve APSC target of 2.5percent of staff

Employment strategy

Develop, implement, review and update our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Action Plan 20172019 with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors

Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees Committee

Development March2017

Review annually, in May (NRW)

Entry level programmes

Participate in existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entry-level programmes and expand recruitment opportunities into regional offices. Annual targets:

Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (six positions)

Indigenous Australian Government Development Programme (two positions)

establish Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stream in department graduate programme (two positions)

pilot CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program for three interns

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

Targets set February2017

Review annually, in May (NRW)

Special Measures and Identified positions

Promote use of Special Measures and Identified positions and support staff to understand these when recruiting

Appoint 15 staff across department (five per year), including in human resources, property, biosecurity and information services

AS, People Services

October2018

Advertising and promotion

Promote entry level recruitment of First Australians by visiting three universities and schools annually

Support divisions to use social and other media appropriate to the opportunity

AS, Design and Change

November2018

Table D2 Retention and developmentlengthens First Australians careers

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

D2.1 Retention and development

Increase support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

Internal mentoring and coaching

Extend graduate mentoring arrangements to cover all entry-level Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees who choose to opt in10pairs each year

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

July2017

Staff support

Pilot an advisory and support telephone service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and their managersto be used by 20 staff

AS, People Capability

March2017

Enterprise agreement

Maintain cultural provisions in enterprise agreement

AS, People Services

December2019

D2.2 Capacity

Extend and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander capacity and enhance career development

Leadership

Promote leadership training and talent development opportunities for 10Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff each year

AS, People Capability

July2019

Short-term secondments

Support staff learning and career prospects through job shadowing, stretch projects, on-country placement and job-swaps

Supervisors of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

Quarterly performance reviewsto be checked July2018 and evaluated December 2019

Conference

Convene a two-yearly national meeting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to develop skills, share experiences and inform the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Action Plan

AS, Science Services

September2018

Table D3 Cultural recognitionof First Australians heritage and cultures

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

D3.1 Cultural recognition

Recognise and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture into the department

Cultural immersion programmes

The department submits applicants to four secondment programmes per year, including the Jawun APS Indigenous Community Secondment Programme

Assistant Secretary, People Capability

February, May, August and November annually

Collective decisions

Governance is the process of decision-making and practice of implementing those decisions. In the context of reconciliation, this means shared decision-making and open dialogue in the department, with our stakeholders and in our communities. This focus area specifies how we collectively decide on:

the history, structure and process of reconciliation action planning

mechanisms for monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement

principles for procurement, property and prosperity.

Reconciliation Action Plan process

The department has produced reconciliation action plans since 2007. It uses them to guide and set the agenda for its reconciliation efforts and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and stakeholders. This RAP was developed using Reconciliation Australias best-practice governance principles for organisations developing and implementing these plans. The department has adopted these governance principles and processes for its RAP working group and RAP forum. The working group provides authority to inform, direct and advise RAP development through consensus-based decision-making. The forum was designed to spread influence, grow networks, increase ownership and deepen unity (Figure 2).

The 20172019 RAP is the result of the dedication, passion and commitment of the departments Indigenous Champions, working group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors, employee networks, RAP forum and RAP facilitation team. We have worked to embed reconciliation in the department, with our stakeholders and with our communities. It has been a collaborative production.

The success of the RAP will depend on the departments vision, the working groups governance and the values staff demonstrate in the workplace. We are ambitious in expecting that we will learn from any occasional failures in our determination to achieve reconciliation. Together we aim to represent best practice in the Australian Public Service and broader RAP community. We will model a workplace where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other cultures are respected and engaged.

Figure 2 Reconciliation Action Plan governance structures

Reconciliation Action Plan working group

Working group membership included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors, the chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Committee and representatives from eight departmental divisions. It was chaired on rotation, based on voluntary contribution to corporate citizenship rather than formal representation of a region or division. The group held monthly meetings from May to December 2016. A RAP implementation group will meet quarterly to implement, monitor and assess RAP strategies and actions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The working group is guided by principles of inclusivity, sustainability, transparency, integrity and accountability (detailed in the terms of reference). It has a clear purpose to:

provide advice and support for the RAP facilitation and planning processes

develop, endorse, launch and operationalise the RAP

The RAP implementation group replaced the working group after its conclusion in December2016.

Reconciliation Action Plan forum

Membership is open to all staff. The Indigenous Champion called for expressions of interest from interested Australian Public Service (APS), Executive Level (EL) and Senior Executive Service (SES) staff. Face-to-face RAP events were held in National Reconciliation Week and in NAIDOC week 2016. The forum is inclusive of cultural and demographic difference. The Indigenous Champion encourages supervisors to allow staff time for reconciliation and taking RAP actions.

The purpose of the RAP forum is to:

reach and communicate directly with a wide range of staff, especially in the RAP assessment and engagement phase

promote departmental reconciliation initiatives and support colleagues through their divisional, regional and personal networks

run informal events, online forums, active social media, dedicated dialogues and occasional meetings.

Ambassadors

Ambassadors represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the national office and each regional office, including the Torres Strait Islands. They initiate and lead the employee networks (also known as RAP-links networks). Ambassadors support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, provide input to departmental policies and strategies, and highlight the contributions of all staff to reconciliation.

Indigenous Champions

Department Secretary Daryl Quinlivan and Deputy Secretary Lyn OConnell are committed and passionate Indigenous and RAP champions. Together they have represented the interests of the departments Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at national, regional and external meetings across the Australian Public Service. The champions encourage staff engagement through ambassadors networks and participation in diversity initi

atives and events.

For me, reconciliation is about acknowledging and righting the wrongs of Australias past. I assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to raise their profile in the APS and engage with the broader community on closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. John Gray, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassador, national office.

Our commitmentsshared decisions, tracking success, procurement

Table E1 Shared decision makinginfluences and promotes self-determination

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

E1.1 RAP implementation group

Actively promote the RAP and support reconciliation initiatives across the agency

Meet quarterly to oversee the development, implementation, legacy and evaluation of current and future RAPs

Establish terms of reference for the group. Ensure the implementation group has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

February, May, August and November 2017 and 2018

Extend RAP ownership and reconciliation capacity through rotating the RAP ambassador role in People Capability branch through two placements per year of two to six months each

Ambassadors and Indigenous Champions

Rotations from February to July and August to December annually

E1.2 Ambassadors and networks

Build an inclusive, dynamic and tolerant workplace culture

Support ambassadors and RAP sponsors in each regional office and identify clear roles and responsibilities

AS, People Capability, and all AS, Service Delivery

March 2017

Establish or extend regional networks in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Torres Strait Islands and Sydney

Strengthen national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network

Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Committee

June 2017

Regional network meetings as required

E1.3 Divisional business plans

Integrate and coordinate reconciliation into our core business

Reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes and reconciliation goals in all divisional plans and performance reviews (16 divisions in 2017)

Indigenous Champions

Divisional plans set July annually and reviewed in January annually

Divisions that work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy matters meet twice yearly to share data and advice

Indigenous Champions

March and September annually

Tracking success

The departments governance bodies are accountable for reconciliation actions. They will meet regularly to assess achievements against the RAP and investigate how to continue to stretch and grow the department to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation Australia uses the icon below for tracking success and linking action, targets, responsibility and time lines.

Table E2 Monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvements of reconciliation

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

E2.1 Monitoring, evaluation and reporting

Develop and implement internal RAP monitoring and evaluation mechanism

Report RAP achievements, challenges and lessons

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors and network members are supported to review the RAP and engage staff in discussion of broader relevance to them at one meeting every two years

Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees Committee

May2018 (NRW) then two-yearly

Progress reports to Reconciliation Australia, Executive Management Committee and department

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability

September annually

Publish RAP reports

Complete and submit RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia

AS, People Capability

September annually

Report to Executive Management Committee and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the departments Indigenous Procurement Policy

AS, Financial Operations

February and September annually

E2.2 Survey

Gather evidence of RAP awareness, reach and impact

Participate in Reconciliation Australia Workplace RAP Barometer every two years

AS, People Capability, supported by Information Services Division staff

September 2018

E2.3 RAP 20202022

Produce a new RAP

Liaise with Reconciliation Australia to develop a new RAP based on lessons, challenges and achievements

Send draft RAP to Reconciliation Australia for formal feedback and endorsement

AS, People Capability

By December 2019

Procurement, pride and prosperity

The department introduced its Indigenous Procurement Policy on 1 July 2015. Since then it has entered into 63 full- and multi-year contracts with commercial businesses that have majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership. These contracts are valued at over $5.5million. The department has expanded on existing contracts and built on strong relationships with suppliers and businesses. It has already committed $845,000 to Indigenous ranger groups working in biosecurity.

The Supply Nation directory links government and corporate Australia with majority-owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. The department has engaged 44 per cent of its contracts through Supply Nation. Finance and Business Support division used the Indigenous Procurement Policy to engage a supplier to review its financial services programmes. It selected Rubik3 through Supply Nation. Rubik3 delivered a comprehensive report, which made recommendations to improve financial services quality, integrity and delivery. This demonstrates the benefits of using Supply Nation.

The departments national office and regional property teams have contracted majority-owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to modernise facilities to accommodate growing staffing levels and meet biosecurity commitments. The department used construction businesses and related professional services to upgrade national office facilities, at a total outlay of $3,631,184. The Torres Strait regional office contracted the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to arrange transportation, building and installation services for new and existing offices. Local businesses completed construction work to the value of $150,000. The collective knowledge of the council, local trades and businesses, and departmental staff has led to the successful completion of complex projects in remote locations within set time frames. The department has negotiated lease arrangements in cooperation with regional staff, allied agencies and Traditional Owners and Custodians.

The department is committed to making Indigenous procurement a success and has trained staff and run communication activities to ensure they understand and use the policy. The Commercial Business branch has gone further, engaging majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned recruitment providers to fill temporary vacancies and promoting use of the policy to other stakeholders and suppliers.

Table E3 Procurementincreases prosperity and shared value

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

E3.1 Procurement and supplier diversity

Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity

Develop, implement and monitor an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement strategy, set contract targets and develop commercial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander majority-owned businesses

Assistant Secretary (AS), Financial Operations

Endorsed and in effect 1July2017

Use businesses majority-owned by First Australians for procurement3percent of all 201617 contracts, 3.5percent of all 201718 contracts and 4percent of all 201819 contracts

AS, Financial Operations

Contract data reviewed in January and June 2017, 2018 and 2019

Become a member of Supply Nation and renew annually

AS, Financial Operations

March 2017

Renew in January 2018 and 2019

E3.2 Workplace giving

Enhance opportunities for workplace giving to First Australians registered charities

Relaunch workplace giving programme. Include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, foundations and charities on the database of organisations staff can donate to.

AS, People Services

July 2017

Table E4 Departmental pridepromotes recognition of First Australians

Action

Measureable target

Responsibility

Time line

E4.1 Cultural recognition

Recognise and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture into the department

Naming conventions

Name meeting rooms after significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or names for places, plants and animals as regionally appropriate

Assistant Secretary (AS), People Capability, AS, Commercial Business

May 2017

Uniform pride

Adopt Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designs on uniform items possibly including shirts, caps, ties and scarves

AS, Commercial Business, and ambassadors

December 2017

Art and design

Appropriately display and credit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in public areas in department properties

AS, Commercial Business

March 2017

Plaques, flags and banners

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, acknowledgement of country plaques and banners to be displayed in national office and seven regional offices

AS, Commercial Business

July 2017

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors

Image 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ambassadors, 2016

Top to bottom, from left to right: Christine Hoy, Bruce Lansdown, John Gray, Eric Cottis, Dennis Seinor, Kim Bland, HarryColbey, Hedley Vogt and Gayle Heron.

Glossary

Term

Definition

AIATSIS

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

APS

Australian Public Service

AS

Assistant Secretary

ATSIEN

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network

ATSIEC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Committee

EL

Executive level

EMC

Executive Management Committee

FAS

First Assistant Secretary

IPP

Indigenous Procurement Policy

NAIDOC

National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee

NAQS

Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy

NRW

National Reconciliation Week

PEQ

Post Entry Quarantine

RA

Reconciliation Australia

RAP

Reconciliation Action Plan

SES

Senior Executive Service

TSRA

Torres Strait Regional Authority

WRB

Workplace Reconciliation Barometer