Reconciliation action plan

The Australia Council for the Arts is committed to reconciliation because it will strengthen our society by increasing mutual respect and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We believe that the arts play a key role in addressing challenges concerning identity, expression, mutual understanding and a sense of belonging.

Support for Indigenous arts has been a crucial part of the Australia Council’s work since its inception.

The staff of the Australia Council share values including that we embrace cultural, community and individual difference in all its forms.

While we are proud of our history of support for Indigenous arts and culture at the Australia Council, we know we can do more. Our reconciliation action plan is therefore about the things that we could do better in our daily working lives here at the Australia Council.

 1   Support Indigenous wellbeing.       

Support Indigenous artists, arts workers and communities.      

As part of our cultural diversity employment strategy, we will;

  • increase general employment opportunities across our organisation for Indigenous people
  • provide culturally appropriate recruitment and selection practices
  • offer Indigenous traineeships, internships or secondments.  

To develop further relationships with Indigenous communities, we will;

  • build a nation-wide list of possible Indigenous service contractors
  • aim to contract local Indigenous businesses for service provision - catering, design, event management, etc.
  • investigate Indigenous volunteer opportunities and support staff to participate
  • support secondments of Australia Council staff with Indigenous organisations   

 2   Increased awareness of Indigenous culture, history and issues.       

By providing targeted cross-cultural awareness training programs, information resources and events.    

We will;

  • Make fact sheets on Indigenous matters easily available to existing staff through workplace training and for induction of new staff and Council members.

Topics to include:

  • protocols on Welcome to Country and acknowledgement of traditional owners
  • pronunciation guide on Indigenous names
  • the history and rationale for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board
  • key events in Indigenous history
  • key speeches and public statement on Indigenous matters and racism
  • an etiquette guide for meeting with Indigenous community members
  • a calendar of key dates
  • a map of Indigenous groups/nations
  • Sponsor regular presentations by Indigenous artists and community representatives as well as workshops for staff on such topics as; Indigenous social relationships and responsibilities, Indigenous relationship to the land,  Indigenous languages (including Indigenous English usage),  collaborative projects between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists. Where appropriate will include locally-based Traditional Owners and community representatives.
  • Establish and organise an Indigenous literature book club for staff.
  • Support Australia Council staff to attend and report back on Indigenous cultural events such as the Festival of the Dreaming, Garma Festival and similar immersive presentations of Indigenous work, in cooperation with, and the guidance of, Indigenous staff.

3   Increased cultural understanding in business practice.      

Create opportunities for more interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff.
We will;

  • create opportunities for staff across various sections of Australia Council to be temporarily located within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts division (while continuing to do their own work)
  • create a fully equipped work station in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts section for visiting staff
  • invite all staff to observe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board meetings (subject to space limits)
  • ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts staff invited to observe other sections’ board and committee meetings.     

4   Policy leadership on Indigenous arts      

Ensure the whole of the Australia Council contributes to strategies and initiatives that develop Indigenous arts and culture.      

We will;

5 Effective progress in achieving Australia Council Reconciliation action plan      

We will;

  • Identify milestones and performance indicators for each key result area and related action.

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