Associate Professor Simone Turr and Professor Jonathan Craig, Co-Chairs of the RAP Oversight Committee, today announced that Flinders University will be developing its second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The University launched its inaugural RAP in June 2020, which outlined an ambitious set of actions that provided a focus on four principal pillars: Relationships; Respect; Opportunities and Governance. To date, approximately 90% of the deliverables outlined in the first RAP are in active progress or are completed, with actions embedded within the University.
These achievements include the introduction of the Elders on Campus program that has enhanced cultural experiences across the University, and implementing processes to ensure that staff and students are provided with cultural awareness training.
The completion of Yungkurrinthi Inparrila in late-2021 has provided one of the more visible RAP priorities. Located next to Yungorrendi Mande at the Bedford Park campus, this outdoor area provides a culturally appropriate gathering space that has been hugely important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students. It underscores the importance of connection to Country and of being immersed in the landscape, taking both strength and solace from the earth and elements.
The Flinders University Library continues to take great strides in progressing the sensitivity and variety of materials about and by First Nations authors, and has made these resources available for staff and academic use.
The College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences has also made significant progress in Indigenising its curriculum by extending embedded co-teaching practices in EDUC and ARCH topics that endeavour to increase opportunities for students to encounter Indigenous cultural content.
Procedures and processes to improve employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands people have also been implemented and have taken effect, with an increase in employment levels across both professional and academic roles. An example of this can be seen in Corporate Services, which has introduced a work experience program for high school students and casual professional roles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled at Flinders University.
The Flinders University community should be proud of its commitment and progress with the inaugural Innovate RAP, which has built a strong foundation for real change.
Now, Flinders aims to consolidate this progress by continuing the journey with a second Innovate RAP 2022-2024.
Embarking on a second Innovate RAP will have important outcomes for the University as it supports sustainable change and systematically works to improve our commitment to Indigenous Australians. By extending deliverables within the current Innovate RAP, this process will allow us to further develop, implement and embed actions and processes at the very core of our University.
RAP Focus Group Workshops
To begin the process of developing a second RAP, College and Portfolio RAP Focus Groups are being held until 10 June, to gain feedback and insights on the current RAP’s engagement, implementation, highlights and challenges. College and Portfolio RAP delegates will explain how to register for the Focus Group Workshops.
RAP Co-design Working Group
Staff interested in being involved in University-wide engagement as part of the RAP Co-Design Working Group will be able to register an Expression of Interest in coming weeks.
Providing an opportunity for everyone in our University community to contribute to the new document, the Co-design Working Groups will span South Australia and the Northern Territory, and the first Working Group will take place on Kaurna Yarta – on 4 July at Bedford Park.
Who to contact?
If you have any questions on the Focus Group Workshops or the RAP Co-design Working Group, please contact Anna Schkabaryn: firstname.lastname@example.org.