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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 5 > Message stick: integral part of Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launch

Message stick: integral part of Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launch

message_stick_cmyk.JPGIn the lead up to unveiling our union’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) later this year, a traditional Indigenous form of communication will represent an important part of formally recognising Australia’s First Peoples. 

The message stick, which was donated by IEUA-QNT Indigenous member Thersa Nunn to our union Council on 13 March.

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the RAP launchwas an ethical and professional responsibility of our union. 

“Our key aim is to positively influence the perceptions and behaviours of future generations by working with members to support the process of reconciliation within their own school communities,” he said.   

“We are extremely pleased that Reconciliation Australia has recognised our commitment to building positive, constructive relationships.

“The plan itself has been developed by a working group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders and a mixture of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members,” he said.  

General information about the RAP and its launch can be obtained by contacting IEUA-QNT Research Officer Adele Schmidt at aschmidt@qieu.asn.au or phone (07) 3839 7020. 

For more information on RAPs, visit the Reconciliation Australia website

Other significant actions for the RAP working group include:

  • Inclusion of our RAP in staff induction materials and on our website
  • Investigation of opportunities to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diversity 
  • Celebrating culturally significant events such as NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week in chapters and schools 
  • Provide cultural awareness training for staff
  • Continuing to support and promote Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program
  • Collaborating with the Queensland Government Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships to support and encourage teachers and schools to interact with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Identify and act on issues of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members through continuation of Yarning Circles
  • Rewriting our Statements of Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners
  • Incorporating acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into IEUA-QNT communications 
  • Working toward increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members on union committees and staff 
  • Investigating an internship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 

What’s in a RAP? 

  • IEUA-QNT will be the first branch of our union to develop a RAP
  • It is a living document that outlines practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians 
  • An official RAP is developed and lodged in consultation with Reconciliation Australia 
  • RAPs are practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities
  • They operate on four levels — Reflect, Innovate, Stretch or Elevate 
  • RAPs create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians  

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.