The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is nearing completion but that hasn’t delayed the implementation of many initiatives across the organisation so far.
From becoming a member of Supply Nation to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the GC2018 tender process, to celebrating National Reconciliation Week (NAIDOC), the RAP has been a great catalyst for generating awareness and engagement with Indigenous communities.
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said he was delighted that the RAP was already featuring in the day to day business of delivering GC2018.
“The team at GOLDOC, comprised of people from more than 14 countries, are embracing elements of the Yugambeh language and learning about the Traditional Owners and heritage of the Gold Coast – that is a great early legacy of this initiative.
Local Aboriginal company, Banaam, have been engaged by GOLDOC to share their insights into the local Aboriginal heritage and culture, providing a greater understanding of the cultural principles of the region.
Banaam’s Josh Slabb said it is very important to have some understanding of the cultural systems of Aboriginal people.
“Understanding is the foundation for systemic solutions,” Mr Slabb said.
Mr Beattie said acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land sets a great foundation for everything done at GOLDOC with the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural protocols standard practice at all GC2018 events.
“The generation of greater awareness of the region’s traditional heritage also sends a strong message to our Commonwealth friends that GC2018 genuinely respects the Traditional Owners and is applying an authentic approach to the inclusion of culture into the delivery of GC2018,” Mr Beattie said.
“We have just interviewed for an Indigenous Project Officer who will continue to drive our RAP goals and work with our RAP Implementation Team to ensure we make the most of the opportunity to involve and engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“A newly appointed Diversity Recruitment Partner will also support the implementation of the RAP and the development of Indigenous, multicultural and accessibility programs and initiatives across the organisation,” Mr Beattie said.
“This is the first time a major international multi-sport event has developed a RAP and we will continue to work with the Queensland Government to finalise the detail ahead of its launch later this year,” Mr Beattie said.
Yugambeh Elder Patricia O’Connor, a member of GOLDOC’s Yugambeh Elders Advisory Group, said she was pleased that tangible benefits are already being realised for the local community.
“I think the RAP is already providing engagement opportunities and real outcomes for community. This is a truly incredible event for the Gold Coast,” Mrs O’Connor said.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a business plan documenting what organisations will do within their sphere of influence to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. They outline practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.