AIRAH's Reconciliation Action Plan

AIRAH has an important role to play in advancing reconciliation – which is why we are developing our first Reconciliation Action Plan.

All sections of the community – governments, civil society, the private sector, and Aboriginal and Strait Islander communities – have a role to play in advancing reconciliation.

AIRAH may have a greater role than most. It is, after all, an Australian peak body with thousands of members around the country. AIRAH organises events and conferences, buys and sells products and services, and liaises with government to help develop laws and codes.

The Institute’s vision is to realise safe, sustainable, healthy, and effective environments. For our environment to be all of those things, AIRAH believes we will need to appreciate the richness and strength of First Nations peoples and cultures, and embrace this as part of our national identity.

What is Reconciliation?

In its simplest form, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

Going deeper, according to Reconciliation Australia, reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; historical acceptance; and unity.

“These five dimensions do not exist in isolation, but are interrelated,” says Reconciliation Australia.

“Reconciliation cannot be seen as a single issue or agenda; the contemporary definition of reconciliation must weave all of these threads together. For example, greater historical acceptance of the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can lead to improved race relations, which in turn leads to greater equality and equity.”

What is AIRAH doing?

Organisations can become involved by starting a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). RAPs provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increasing economic equity and supporting First Nations self-determination.

The RAP framework has been running since 2006, and more than 1,100 organisations now have one. It is designed as a journey, with four stages: reflect, innovate, stretch, and elevate. This allows for continued learning, growth, and progress. An organisation’s RAP is not a document that is written and then filed away – it is a living, continuing project.

Because AIRAH is starting the journey, we have applied to develop a “reflect” RAP. This means scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on our vision for reconciliation, and exploring our sphere of influence.

AIRAH is currently in the process of developing our approach to creating a Reconciliation Action Plan.

Would you like to be involved?

AIRAH members who would like to be part of this process can indicate their interest by emailing [email protected]

We encourage members who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate, although you don’t need to state this if you prefer not to, and you may choose your level of involvement in the RAP development process.

This page was last updated March 29, 2022