ASRC Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan

(Jan - Dec 2022)

The ASRC has always stood for an inclusive, compassionate and just Australia.

As a human rights organisation that speaks out against injustice for refugees and people seeking asylum, we join the fight for justice for and with First Nations people.

Our vision is that all Australians, First Nations people and those who have come here seeking asylum, can live safely, sustainably, independently and equally. We imagine a future where the cultures, histories and rights of First Nations people are recognised and valued by every Australian and are a proud part of our shared national identity.

Our RAP is part of our contribution toward reconciliation. We acknowledge First Nations people’s unceded sovereignty and recognise and celebrate their continuing connections to land, waters, communities, cultures and customs.

We aim to provide a strong example to our sector and community by demonstrating our commitment to reconciliation in all of our work.

Our Approach

The launch of our first Reflect RAP in 2022 is an important milestone for the ASRC to help end the exclusion that has been so damaging for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our first RAP is the culmination of three years of consultation and learning to develop a plan that will help create better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and bring our communities together in reconciliation.

In committing to a Reconciliation Action Plan, the ASRC understands the role we must play in promoting and supporting meaningful reconciliation that empowers First Nations people and enables their advancement in Australia.
Our commitment sits at the highest level including the CEO and representatives of the ASRC Leadership Team and our reconciliation initiatives are embedded in our organisational strategy.

Our 2021 Reflect RAP is focused around three areas which will guide our reconciliation efforts:

Building Relationships & Respect
We will build strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help inform our work and establish representation from First Nations within our organisation and activities. We will build a close relationship with Reconciliation Australia and promote and celebrate with our people key initiatives like National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week,‘Change the Date’ actions and Uluru Statement from the Heart.

We will demonstrate respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by observing cultural protocols and will continue to build the cultural awareness and competency of our people through additional education and training.

Community Engagement
We will promote reconciliation and cultural understanding not only within our network of staff, volunteers and the people we support, but also among the community and partners who support our work. We will promote reconciliation through our sphere of influence, identifying opportunities to positively engage external stakeholders to drive reconciliation outcomes and raise awareness of key reconciliation initiatives.

Creating Employment & Supplier Opportunities
We will improve employment outcomes by increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development and increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity to contribute to the growth of the Indigenous business sector.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners across Australia and pay respect to their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We acknowledge sovereignty of the lands upon which we work and live have never been ceded. 

Towards reconciliation, with your help

We invite our community of compassion to be a part of our reconciliation journey and do something personal to help make reconciliation possible. Here’s a few things you can do today:

  • Read the ASRC Reflect RAP to learn why and how the ASRC is actively taking steps toward reconciliation
  • Listen – learn about First Nations’ people and perspectives from resources like Reconciliation Australia. Listen to podcasts, watch films, read books and follow advocates on social media.
  • Learn about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and read the statement
  • Take action – join protests, call your local MP, sign petitions and amplify the voice of First Nations’ people. Click here for actions you can take right now and how you can become a good ally.

ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.