Work on the Society’s reconciliation commitments focused on respect, relationships and opportunities continued under the umbrella of our Reconciliation Action Plan.
To strengthen our relationships, and better ensure our work towards reconciliation is guided by First Nations people, organisations, and communities, we began establishing an Aboriginal Advisory Group. We were also pleased to introduce a newly created role of Aboriginal Engagement Partner, to lead these efforts into the future.
At the local level, our members, volunteers, and services have established dozens of collaborative relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. These come in many different forms and include outreach arrangements, referral agreements, sponsorships, joint events, and other forms of partnership.
As a sign of respect, we continued the process of putting up plaques of acknowledgement in sites across NSW. This has involved many discussions with local elders and communities, broadening our understanding of the many lands across which we work.
We laid the footings for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency framework, and as a starting point have taken steps to ensure all staff are aware of our commitment to reconciliation, and have completed an introductory module on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Inclusion and Cultural Safety.
To support the creation of opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, our recently approved new procurement policy incorporates guidelines to prioritise Indigenous suppliers, and we have begun a commercial relationship with Indigenous Business Outback Global.
Following the recruitment of key roles in the People and Culture Directorate, the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and retention strategy is a key priority for the 2020/21 financial year.