EWON’s draft Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was developed in January 2020 to document our commitment to reconciliation. It provides a roadmap to drive our contribution to reconciliation internally and in the communities we engage with.
With guidance from the RAP Working Group and the support of our Management Team and Ombudsman, the RAP will be implemented through changes to policies and embedded into our day-to-day operations.
The Reflect RAP Framework is an evaluation of the work we have done so far and how we can progress our existing support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our RAP Working Group consisted of EWON staff, as well as Amanda Cameron (Aboriginal Service Coordinator with the Financial Right Legal Centre) and Charles Turner (Assistant Director Social Services, Indigenous and Accessibility, Commonwealth Ombudsman).
We submitted our draft RAP to Reconciliation Australia in June 2020 and are currently engaging with them to finalise the Plan.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan aims to:
- Increase and enhance access to, and outcomes for, our service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Ensure the services we offer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are provided in the most effective and appropriate manner, based on a clear understanding of their needs and cultural practices
- Increase our staff awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the issues they face, in order to improve the services we provide to consumers
- Enhance our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by expanding our stakeholder networks, building partnerships and collaborating with organisations that work with communities.
What we are already doing
- Cultural awareness training for staff
- In-house NAIDOC celebrations and recognition of other significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events through staff emails and social media activity
- Development of culturally-appropriate EWON resources, including Aboriginal artwork commissioned for that purpose
- Designated Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer position in place for over 10 years
- Implementation of an extensive Aboriginal Community Outreach Program, covering communities across NSW
- Ombudsman and staff share an Acknowledgement of Country at internal meetings and outside events. During COVID-19 staff personalised their Acknowledgement messages by linking them to the land they were living and working on.
- Development of systems and processes for identifying and prioritising people experiencing financial difficulty who contact EWON, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers.