Our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launched in 2013. Although it was still early in our journey as a business, it was an important step – and one we were determined to take.
Three years later we launched our second RAP with the purpose of embedding the values of Reconciliation into the way we operate. Our goal was to help to ensure Australia’s First Peoples had (and continue to have) opportunities to participate in the rollout and potential benefits of the nbn™ broadband access network.
Our third RAP, introduced in October 2018, has an increased emphasis on community engagement, building and encouraging collaboration, increasing employment and procurement opportunities and lifting the digital capability of all Australians.
Since launching our first RAP, we have accomplished a number of achievements. These include:
- Implementing Cultural Heritage procedures in the design and build of the network to ensure we respect and protect places and sites of significance.
- Establishing a large team of regionally based and department-diverse leaders to guide the implementation of our RAP, while also creating excitement and encouraging involvement in First Peoples initiatives and events.
- Ensuring our Delivery Partners were part of our RAP journey by implementing Participation and Engagement Management Plans that set targets for employment and First Peoples Business spend.
- Ensuring a consistent approach utilising the First Peoples cultural heritage protocols.
- Delivering nbn™ Reconciliation Awareness training to more than 71% of our employees.
- Introducing Welcome to Country at significant events including the 2017 nbn™ Employee Road shows and annual supplier summits.
- Introducing Acknowledgement of Country to major internal and external meetings throughout Australia including the Executive General Manager forum, the Quarterly Spark Awards and across our Diversity and Inclusion pillar events.
- Focusing on our partnership with Supply Nation has helped increase procurement spend with listed Indigenous Suppliers.
- Establishing relationships with First Peoples organisations and communities including Work Ventures, Port Community Limited, the Yawuru Peoples of Broome and APY Lands Council and its communities.
- Reviewing our policies and procedures to reduce any barriers to recruiting or retaining First Peoples.
- Ensuring our volunteering policies have no barriers to First Peoples volunteer activities or participation in community events such as NAIDOC week.
- Establishing our First Peoples community – Liakukana. This word means ‘waterfall’ and embodies the sentiment of a ripple effect. This name was gifted to us by the Melythina Tiakana Warrana Aboriginal Corporation and numerous other affiliated TRACA organisations.
- Visiting more First Peoples communities to understand their needs. In doing this we are looking at the development of technical and product solutions to help meet those needs.
- Commencing our Internship in partnership with CareerTrackers which we hope to grow year on year. We look to link the internship to nbn graduate and scholarship programs to facilitate First Peoples' participation.
- Delivering nbn™ Reconciliation Awareness training - Our Continued Journey, to the business.
As part of our third RAP, we will continue the following actions:
- Communicate the nbn™ message across rural and regional areas using our Sky Muster™ trucks and the nbn™ local Community Engagement Teams.
- Develop more internal training modules to ensure that reconciliation remains front of mind across the organisation.
- We will communicate more widely regarding special events throughout NRW and NAIDOC Week.
- Ensure our systems are capable of capturing our First Peoples' employee information so that we can understand their needs while using that knowledge to better retain, support and engage our First Peoples.
- Involve as many of our First Peoples and non-First Peoples employees in RAP initiatives as possible. Doing so will help us better realise our reconciliation vision and develop cultural competency and empathy throughout the organisation.
These initiatives allow us to continue our reconciliation journey as we complete the rollout of our network across the nation.