Last year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference saw the QTU launch its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a document which commits the Union to actions which further reconciliation, and requires a number of deliverables. This article reports on the deliverables achieved this year.
Establish a RAP working party
The QTU has already established a RAP working party, which assisted in the development of the RAP. Now Reconciliation Australia has made the RAP working party a standing requirement, we are looking at how to make it a statewide representative body, and will pursue this in the new year.
Celebrate National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and NAIDOC Week
The QTU has been active in promoting, via our website, Facebook and the Journal, significant dates, including NRW and NAIDOC Week. Thus we have achieved deliverables four and ten. As well as promoting NAIDOC Week activities, the QTU donated merchandise to the Queensland Council of Unions stall at the Musgrave Park NAIDOC Family Fun day. The QCU runs NAIDOC Week awards, which the QTU won this year for its steps towards reconciliation.
Encourage members’ schools to develop a RAP using the Nurragunnawali program
To meet deliverable six, an article on the Nurragunnawali program featured in the Journal, along with promotion on our website. We encourage schools who are considering developing a RAP to access the Nurragunnawali resources – they make the RAP process very easy!
Raise internal understanding of protocols
Deliverable 11 requires that we raise understanding of the meaning and significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols, such as the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners. We have sought to deepen our understanding of protocols, with the assistance of Gandu Jarjum and the QCU’s Field Officer. In addition to providing this information about protocols to branch executives as part of their QTU resources, and committing to the Acknowledgment of Traditional Owners at the beginning of QTU meetings, all QTU offices now have a plaque which recognises the traditional owners of the respective local area.
Consider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment
The Research Officer has explored some avenues in which this may be possible in the future, and meets shortly with an organisation that promotes a traineeship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants, to learn more about what assistance is available.
Consider supplier diversity
Deliverable 14 requires we consider how our organisation can develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity program. To that end, we have engaged a catering company, Native Culinary Ecstasy, run by an Aboriginal chef, to provide catering for last year’s Stronger Together conference, and for this year’s Close the Gap morning tea.
While there is still much to be done, good progress has been made this year on our deliverables, and we look forward to continuing this progress in 2017.
Kim Roy Assistant Secretary - Industrial/Research
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 121 No 8, 11 November 2016, p23
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