27 September 2023

Colourful launch for DHS RAP plan

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched its 2018-2022 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at a colourful ceremony in its Canberra headquarters.

Staff members attending the ceremony were told the Department’s major achievements arising from its existing plan included increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff from 3.1 per cent to 5.2 per cent, and spending $24 million on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

DHS was awarded Elevate status by Reconciliation Australia — an honour, it said, reserved for organisations with a proven track record of embedding effective RAP initiatives.

National Manager, Indigenous and Remote Servicing Branch, Lauren Callinan said the new Plan outlined the DHS’s commitment through strategies that improve opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and clients.

Ms Callinan noted the Department was the first Federal Government Agency to have its own RAP after partnering with Reconciliation Australia, and continued to be a leader for reconciliation in the public sector.

“We’ve had some fantastic achievements, however we still have a long way to go,” Ms Callinan said.

“Our RAP is ambitious, positive and meaningful, and it will guide us on our reconciliation journey for the next four years.”

Chief Executive of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine said all Australians had a part to play in the reconciliation journey.

“Government Agencies occupy a particularly critical sphere of influence,” Ms Mundine said.

“The decisions they make and the way they operate have a profound impact on all Australians.

“By raising the bar of its RAP ambitions, the Department is setting an example as a leader in reconciliation.”

The DHS’s 27-page RAP can be accessed at this PS News link.

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