Reconciliation at RMIT
Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians.
As RMIT reshapes its future, the University is looking to continue and broaden its efforts towards deeper reconciliation.
RMIT launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 2.22 MB 34p) (RAP) during National Reconciliation Week 2016.
RAP's help workplaces to grow understanding, promote meaningful engagement, increase equality and develop sustainable employment and business opportunities.
The RAP will enable our University to commit to implementing and measuring practical actions that build relationships, respect and opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
By improving relationships, respect and opportunities today, we are working to create a reconciled, just and equitable Australia tomorrow.
Download RMIT’s Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 2.22 MB 34p) 2016-2018.
Reconciliation defined – What is Reconciliation?
Reconciliation Australia’s inaugural State of Reconciliation in Australia report defines reconciliation as having five dimensions.
These five dimensions do not exist in isolation. They are interrelated and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we make progress in all five areas.
The five dimensions identified to measure reconciliation in Australia are:
- race relations
- equality and equity
- institutional integrity
- historical acceptance.
Information in this section sourced from Reconciliation Australia’s State of Reconciliation Report (PDF 500 KB 27p).
RMIT’s Vision for Reconciliation
RMIT aspires to be an organisation whose community recognises the inherent value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions, heritage, knowledges and perspectives to the University.
We seek to learn and embrace the opportunities that this presents to enrich and benefit all staff and students.
We aim to position ourselves as both an employer of choice and preferred place to study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our aspiration is to lead in the areas of reconciliation by:
- Committing our University to the goal of creating an Australia that provides equal life chances for all
- Ensuring all staff and students are treated with dignity and respect
- Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples meaningfully to work towards a collaborative approach
- Promoting a learning and research environment that engages partnerships and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, cultures and diversity
- Increasing the numbers of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds obtaining post-school educational qualifications, as a means of obtaining economic empowerment and independence.
RMIT has a deep commitment to equity and inclusion, underpinned by strong partnerships and collaborations to support an inclusive learning and working environment for all staff and students.
RMIT’s Equity and Inclusion Plan identifies actions to build an environment:
- that provides opportunities for students and staff to explore, test and fulfil their potential
- where respect for Indigenous cultures is reflected in our work
- where diversity is encouraged and celebrated
- where the staff and student experience is informed by inclusive practices
- that supports student access and success.
The University has a particular commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students, articulated through the Statement of Reconciliation (PDF 311 KB), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy (PDF 833 KB) and the work of the Ngarara Willim Centre in supporting student application and enrolment.
Reporting on our RAP is an annual requirement of the RAP program and is included in the Tracking and Reporting section of every RAP.
Data submitted through our RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire contributes to Reconciliation Australia’s RAP Impact Measurement Report, produced each year, which outlines the collective impact of the RAP program.
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year – between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.
27 May 1967 – Marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.
3 June 1992 – The High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land - that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2016 is “Our History, Our Story, Our Future”.
"Our History, Our Story, Our Future" is derived from the State of Reconciliation in Australia Report, which asks all Australians to reflect on our national identity, and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in our nation’s story.
The week is a chance for all of us to take some fresh action to spark a change in colleges, schools, portfolios and communities - no matter how big or small.