The Department of Indigenous Affairs is committed to ensuring that Indigenous Western Australians live long, healthy and fufilling lives. The Department recognises and values Indigenous land, heritage and culture and supports Indigenous people in their needs and aspirations to share equally in the benefits of Western Australian society and economy.
Reconciliation is about mutual respect, a willingness to listen and learn from each other. Indigenous culture is rich and enduring and it is essential to build a greater understanding and awareness of Indigenous culture and the value it adds to our workplace and our community as a whole.
Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs)
The Department, in partnership with Reconciliation Australia, is working with other agencies, organisations and communities to overcome disadvantage and to Close the Gap - particularly in the areas of health, housing, education, law, justice and employment.
Reconciliation Australia states:
“A RAP provides an organisation with a framework for the future, detailing steps and priorities to achieve Indigenous equality.
"This framework covers the activities that we know can make a difference: building good relationships; respecting the special contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australia; and ensuring Indigenous children have the same life opportunities as other children in this prosperous country.”
Read the original DIA's RAP and the Annual Progress Report for the Year 2009 and 2010.
Please find the latest DIA RAP for the Year 2010 - 2012.
“If you want to treat me equally, you may have to be prepared to treat me differently.”
DIA understands that an important part of combating systemic racism is to find ways to recognise the consequences of actions, practices and policies that impact different groups and individuals unequally.
DIA has embraced the Public Sector Anti-Racism and Equality Program which assesses how policies, programs and practices affect Indigenous people. These are actioned by:
- Monitoring the implementation of policies and programs and making sure these meet the diverse needs of the people of Western Australia;
- Ensuring staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address issues of systemic racism; and
- Recognising and appraising organisational progress towards achieving substantive equality.
This program assists the public sector to break down these barriers and move from achieving formal equality to achieving substantive equality for all Western Australians.
DIA is ensuring that its programs and policies treat all people fairly.
Cultural awareness training
DIA conducts a number of internal Cultural Awareness Training (CAT) sessions throughout the year for its head office and regional staff. The training course assist staff in gaining a better understanding of the history and the impact of past policies on Aboriginal Western Australians today.
The CAT is also an opportunity for staff to enhance their knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication and have an understanding of the different needs of Aboriginal people.
CAT is one of the key actions identified in the DIA’s Reconciliation Action Plan and is also one of the main elements identified in other agency RAP’s to assist those agencies in achieving their reconciliation vision.