Reconciliation Action Plan Update

The ALRC’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) outlines the ALRC’s vision for reconciliation and the strategies that the ALRC will adopt to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The ALRC believes that the laws of Australia must have proper regard to Indigenous interests, and must protect and promote Indigenous culture and improve social and economic outcomes for Indigenous people.

In November 2010 all staff attended a full day of cultural awareness training, held at Tranby Aboriginal College in Glebe facilitated by cultural appreciation trainer Lani Blanco-Francis from the Arilla Indigenous Consultants and Services group. The program involved sessions on fostering a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture, culturally appropriate consultation and community engagement.

There were opportunities to evaluate the RAP and determine what areas should be reviewed to implement workable targets. Overall the day was stimulating and provided a useful basis upon which the RAP Committee and the ALRC more broadly, can continue to develop its RAP and engage with Indigenous peoples.

One of the issues identified during the Family Violence Inquiry and highlighted during the cultural awareness training was the need to provide effective feedback to the Indigenous community. As a result, the President, Professor Rosalind Croucher, prepared a podcast on Indigenous issues and consultation in the Family Violence Inquiry. The podcast is available from the ALRC’s website. In order to provide additional feedback and encourage greater participation and engagement by Indigenous people in the law reform process, Professor Croucher and Legal Officer, Amanda Alford wrote an article for publication in the Indigenous Law Bulletin ‘The ALRC and Indigenous People—Continuing the Conversation’.

In May, Senior Legal Officer, Virginia Marshall, and Legal Officer, Amanda Alford, presented at the 7th Annual Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Legal Forum, in Mackay, Queensland. This followed on from a presentation at the same conference the year before and provided an opportunity for the ALRC to provide feedback to the community on the recommendations of the Family Violence Inquiry.

Commissioner, Professor Terry Flew published an article in the Koori Mail newspaper on the National Classification Scheme Review, entitled ‘Indigenous Perspectives on Media Classification’. The article outlined the key issues contained in the ALRC’s Issues Paper and calling for submissions from Indigenous peoples and communities.

ALRC staff celebrated National Reconciliation Week this year together with staff of the Australian Government Solicitor and were privileged to hear a presentation by Susan Moylan-Coombs, Head of Commissioning & Strategy and Stakeholder Manager, National Indigenous Television. On 2 June, ALRC staff attended the NSW Art Gallery for a guided tour of Yirbana, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection. This provided an opportunity to further our understanding of Indigenous culture, heritage and history.

Photo of RAP Committee: described in text below.

Image: ALRC RAP Committee — Sabina Wynn, Krista Lee-Jones, Tina O’Brien, Virginia Marshall, Amanda Alford, Khanh Hoang, Marie-Claire Muir, Carolyn Kearney, Professor Rosalind Croucher, Sara Peel