That’s a (w)RAP: Achievements & learnings from Greening Australia’s first Reconciliation Action Plan

Traditional dancing and smoking ceremony on Country

Traditional dancing underway as part of a Welcome Ceremony for a community planting event on Yuggera Country in Queensland. Image credit: Harrison Candlin.

Between 2021 and 2023 Greening Australia completed 15 actions and 70 deliverables as part of our inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This represents a 93% completion rate of commitments made in our RAP.

While there’s plenty more work to be done, taking some time to reflect on the highlights, challenges and learnings from the past two years is an important step.

When it comes to crunching numbers, we’re particularly proud of our FY23 procurement spend, which saw 13% of our total spend (24% of addressable spend) go towards 27 different First Nations suppliers. We’ve also taken practical steps to help embed First Nations procurement into business as usual at Greening Australia, including becoming a member of Supply Nation, and updating our procurement policy to better address social and environmental considerations.

Man in fluro work uniform hammering a tree guard against a backdrop of rolling green hills

A member of RAW Group working in 2023 as a part of a First Nations planting team on a Greening Australia site in South Australia. Image credit: WWF-Australia – Think Mammoth.

We’ve worked hard to support our staff to increase their cultural awareness and access cultural activities, including during NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week. We rolled out our first ever online cultural learning training, delivered by Your Mob Learning, which has seen a completion rate of 85% among staff.

We also wanted to hear feedback and reflections on the RAP from the Greening Australia staff. In December 2023 we surveyed our entire organisation across three key areas: RAP Outputs, Processes and Impact.

We assessed the usefulness of the resources created, the effectiveness of communication and engagement processes, and the extent to which the RAP improved cultural capabilities and safety, as well as engagement with and opportunities for First Nations Communities, groups and enterprises.

With well over two-thirds of the organisation completing the survey, we learnt a lot and have an informed vision of where we need to focus our efforts in our next RAP.

A group of people sit in a circle in an office space weaving

Staff in Greening Australia’s Adelaide office enjoyed a basket weaving session guided by Adelaide local Tahnae Davidson-Bartley.

It was extremely heartening to hear that more than half our staff feel their knowledge of and ability to engage with First Nations Peoples, Cultures and Protocols have increased as a result of the RAP.

Overwhelmingly, staff felt that having a RAP had positively contributed to Greening Australia’s culture and were proud to work at an organisation with a RAP.

“I’m really proud of our collective contribution to reconciliation and meaningful change over the past two years,” reflected Heather Campbell, CEO, Greening Australia.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to implement and consolidate the fantastic tools and initiatives created so far. I’m excited to see what we can achieve next through the support of our incredible staff, our exceptional Thriving on Country Committee, and all our valued supporters and partners who help make what we do possible.”

Want to learn more about how Greening Australia works with First Nations Peoples? Read about our Thriving on Country initiatives.

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