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UC 2021-2024 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan launched

Elly Mackay

27 May 2021: Strengthening relationships with local Ngunnawal peoples, creating relevant cultural policies, and increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes are some of the key targets in the University of Canberra’s Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2021-2024, released today.

The Stretch RAP – endorsed by Reconciliation Australia – requires the University to implement long-term reconciliation initiatives into business strategies.

It follows the success of the University’s 2018-2020 RAP, in which a large number of the projected targets were met or exceeded.

“The University’s key goal in the previous RAP was to provide our people with the leadership, knowledge, and independence to make a change towards reconciliation,” University of Canberra Chancellor Professor Tom Calma said.

“We’ve made significant progress toward that goal.”

Other successes from the previous RAP include increased employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to two per cent, the installation of Ngunnawal Gardens, the Indigenisation of the curriculum framework being approved, and the introduction of an Indigenous Alumni Chapter.

“There have been many successes in terms of reconciliation at the University, but our job isn’t done yet. The 2021-2024 RAP outlines the need to enhance educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership opportunities,” Professor Calma said.

The new plan also aims to continue to promote positive race relations through anti-discrimination strategies, maintain Indigenous supplier ratios, and increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and staff recruitment.

“Above all, we aim to continue to foster respect for the Ngunnawal People, on whose land the Bruce campus is located, and engage with the Ngunnawal culture,” Professor Calma said.

The 2021-2024 RAP was launched at a breakfast event on campus this morning, attended by key University executive members, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students, and local Ngunnawal Elders. Minister for Indigenous Australians The Honourable Ken Wyatt provided a video address to attendees.

Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine also delivered an address via video-link, praising the University for its actions in working to achieve reconciliation.

“We’ve come a long way in the 15 years of the RAP program, and your Stretch RAP continues to be part of the larger story and reconciliation movement,” Ms Mundine said in her address.

“You are a standard for what reconciliation can achieve in the higher education sector.”

The RAP is a compilation of commitments, stories, and successes worked on by members from across the University community, and led by Professor Peter Radoll and Professor Leigh Sullivan.

Read the new RAP here.