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Reconciliation Action Plan

Our vision for reconciliation

The National Museum of Australia shares the stories of all Australians. Our vision for reconciliation is that we will work closely with communities to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to contribute to, and participate in, the Museum’s programs.

Through everything we do, our vision is to show respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to value their culture and histories and to be inclusive and welcoming to all.

Elderly man sitting and in conversation with young woman
Sculptor Sid Bruce Shortjoe from Pormpuraaw Arts and Cultural Centre, Cape York, runs a NAIDOC Week workshop in the Museum's Main Hall. Photo: George Serras.

Our business

The National Museum of Australia was established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980 to collect, document, research and communicate the history of Australia.

The Museum is a social history museum. We explore the land, nation and people of Australia. We focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, histories of European settlement and our interaction with the environment.

Our core business is to promote an understanding of Australia’s history and an awareness of future possibilities by:

Woman sitting on a stage with audience of men, women and children sitting on the floor, raising their hands above their heads.
Bangarra dancer and Torres Strait Islander Elma Kris leads a workshop in the Museum's Hall. Photo: Amanda Coleman.
  • developing, preserving and exhibiting a significant collection
  • taking a leadership role in research and scholarship
  • engaging and providing access for audiences nationally and internationally
  • delivering innovative programs.

The Museum currently employs 242 staff. We currently have 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on staff.

We have a national focus with displays and exhibitions held on our Acton site in Canberra.

Additionally, we develop and tour travelling exhibitions to national and regional centres across Australia and internationally.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–16

Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been developed utilising the talents, enthusiasm, experience and skills of people across the organisation. Development of the draft RAP began under the stewardship of an executive leader with input from a workshop involving staff from across the Museum.

The first draft was circulated to those involved in the workshop, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support network MINmin, and senior management. A draft was presented to our Indigenous Reference Group that provided feedback and it was then circulated to Reconciliation Australia for comments and feedback.

The Museum’s Diversity Working Group reviewed the draft before circulating to executive members, all senior managers for discussion with their staff, MINmin members and those involved in the initial workshop.

A final draft was recirculated to the Museum’s Indigenous Reference Group and Council for approval.

pdfReconciliation Action Plan 2015–16 (PDF 271kb)

Two women sitting at a table with various woven objects
Bundjalung weaver Kylie Caldwell (right) from Richmond River in New South Wales with her daughter, Kyeoma. Kylie has run workshops at the Museum and was one of the inaugural winners of the Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarships.

Focus areas

Our RAP has been developed to:

  • contribute to the process of reconciliation in Australia
  • show our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories and their culture
  • increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • provide practical and sustainable initiatives that support two-way learning opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • enhance and foster improved relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the nation.

The Museum's RAP is championed by the Director and senior executive members of the organisation.

Our RAP Working Group has representation from across the three divisions of the Museum and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.

See all focus areas and targets

Focus area 1 Developing an internal culture of support for reconciliation

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Establish a RAP Working Group to support the development and implementation of our RAP

Executive Management Group

June 2015

A RAP Working Group is formed and operational to support the development, launch and implementation of our RAP, comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

A member of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is invited as well as other stakeholder groups to participate on the RAP Working Group.

RAP Working Group meets a minimum of four times a year.

The current RAP covers the financial year 2015–16. The RAP Working Group will develop the next RAP in the first half of 2016.

Museum appoints a RAP Champion to support the development and implementation of our RAP

Executive Management Group

June 2015

The Museum’s Executive and Council endorse the appointment of the Director as RAP Champion.

Other Reconciliation Champions or Ambassadors for the RAP are nominated.

Museum supports Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander participation on the Museum’s Council

Director

June 2016

The Museum advocates for a continued presence of a minimum of one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person on the Museum’s Council.

The Museum publically launches its RAP document

Director,
Head, Executive Support Unit

July 2015

Museum holds a special event to launch the RAP.

A recent acquisition by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist is used as part of the design and delivery of the final RAP document.

All three Australian flags are flown across all sites.

The Museum supports the implementation of the year-one RAP to establish internal support

Director,
Head, Executive Support Unit

June 2016

The Museum will assess progress against measurable targets at the end of 12 months.

Establish a staff award to recognise staff who make a significant contribution to the implementation of the RAP.

Celebrate National Reconciliation Week annually

Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach

June 2016

Host one internal staff event for National Reconciliation Week.

The Museum identifies opportunities each year to engage with the historic moments connected with National Reconciliation Week (eg the 1967 Referendum and Mabo decision) and to reach out to broader Australia through social media and other channels.

Ensure the RAP Working Group represents views from all areas of the Museum

Director, senior managers of all business units

June 2016

RAP Working Group will have at least six Museum business units (two from each division) represented and will include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation and non-Indigenous representation.

Develop and build internal relationships to raise awareness of the Museum's commitment to reconciliation

Head, Human Resources

Head, Web Team, Head, Communications and Marketing Team

Chair, RAP Working Group


Assistant Director, Audience, Programs and Partnerships

Chair, RAP Working Group

June 2016

Include RAP as part of induction for new starters.


Develop a RAP page on the intranet, on the Museum website, and report on RAP activities in annual report.



Develop and implement a plan to raise awareness across the organisation about NMA’s RAP commitment, including publishing the RAP.

A presentation on Museum's RAP commitment is provided at an all staff meeting to ensure staff have an understanding of how their area can contribute to the RAP.


Continue and expand the MINmin and MINmin Lite partnership.

Continue to operate an Indigenous Reference Group (IRG)

Director, Chair of Museum Council

June 2016

Maintain an active Indigenous Reference Group, with national representation.

The IRG has the opportunity to contribute to strategic planning.

Museum staff members have opportunities to engage with the IRG.

The IRG meets a minimum of twice a year.

Support the internal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network, MINmin

Executive, senior managers of all business units, Head, Human Resources

June 2016

Provide support and advice to MINmin members to assist their work across the Museum.

Support MINmin members to organise community events.

Focus area 2 External stakeholders: building relationships with visitors to the Museum

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Provide education and public programs, including those that promote outreach, with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus

Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach

Head, Web Team; Head, Marketing & Comms

June 2016

Promote these programs through Museum publications (print and online) in addition to mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media outlets.

Acknowledge and promote significant anniversaries or events through social media and online.

Support, celebrate and represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events

Head, Marketing and Comms


Executive Support Unit

June 2016

Identify key events that will be supported. Ensure that these are well advertised and supported across the Museum.

Explore mechanisms whereby the Museum can measure and report on participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Museum programs.

Explore mechanisms whereby the Museum can measure and report on general audience participation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events.

Focus area 3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders: building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Engage local and wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

MINmin Chair, RAP Working Group



MINmin Chair, RAP Working Group


Head, Visitor Services

Head, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program


Head, Marketing and Comms


Assistant Directors,
Head, Marketing and Comms

June 2016

The Museum hosts two community events organised by MINmin and the RAP Working Group, to provide opportunities for access and engagement between the Museum and the local and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Strengthen ongoing community relationships by hosting events and providing a free meeting place for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups, facilitated by MINmin.

Provide in-kind support to community-based organisations by providing venue hire discounts.

Goree magazine is launched online, and provides a conduit for information in and out of the Museum. A feedback mechanism is developed and communicated.

Increase and consolidate the Museum's social media presence. Record and report on the number of followers and hits to the website.

Investigate new relationships with organisations in Canberra that engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, such as the Australian National Botanic Gardens, local heritage organisations etc.

Recognise and maximise partnership opportunities

Head, Executive Support Unit and senior managers

Head, Exhibitions Projects and Interpretation


Director




Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach, Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Advisor, and
Head, Research Centre

Chair, Council




Head, Executive Support Unit

June 2016

Compile a list of all current external partnerships and map connections to internal business areas.


Evaluate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander projects such as Encounters and how the learnings from projects can be incorporated into other business areas.

Continue partnership with Elevate RAP Partner AIATSIS and develop opportunities for collaboration through the Memorandum of Understanding.


Explore partnerships with higher education institutions including formalising the relationship with ANU and hosting a series of community-based forums.

Continue to build a relationship with international organisations and museums to facilitate access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural artefacts held in overseas collections.



Encourage Council members to explore opportunities for partnerships with NMA within their organisations RAPs.


Scope opportunities for collaboration with other organisations to promote cultural awareness eg DFAT graduates annually.

Examine opportunities for linking with regional and remote communities through technology

Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach


Senior managers of all business units

June 2016

Continue to look for opportunities to invest in and extend outreach through new interactive technologies and applications to engage stakeholders, eg robot, Goree online, in support of increasing Museum's social media presence.

Ensure external content features references and connections to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.

Focus area 4 Ensure that the National Museum of Australia reflects our national identity.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Make use of Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections and expertise in exhibitions, education and public programs

Assistant Director, Collections, Content and Exhibitions






Head, Marketing and Comms



Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach

June 2016

Deliver a range of exhibitions, products and programs using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections and other content.

Gallery of First Australians Stage 1 redevelopment commences.

Prepare scoped plan for complete re-development of Gallery of First Australians within life of current Strategic Plan.

Advertise Gallery of First Australians permanent gallery more broadly, and examine opportunities for cross promotion. Encounters project advertised and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community participation recorded.

Promote Narragunnawali: reconciliation in schools and early learning program to school groups that attend Museum sessions.

Make staff aware of responsibilities, protocols and practices for exhibitions, programs and events pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material and heritage

Head, Web Team















Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Advisor to Director

Assistant Director, Collections, Content and Exhibitions

July 2015















June 2016




July 2015


June 2016

Include links to the following documents on RAP webpage:


At least one staff seminar annually on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander responsibilities and protocols.






Finalise and implement the Museum’s Indigenous cultural rights and engagement policy and principles.

Ensure that all staff are briefed on the requirements for community consultation, and have the skills and information they need to facilitate meaningful consultation processes.

Keep staff informed of new Museum content relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Director,
Head, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program


Head, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program


Director

Quarterly

Staff informed at all staff meetings, via intranet and at senior managers meetings.

Brief front of house staff including visitor services, education, public programs and other relevant staff regarding changes in exhibitions, displays and programs.

New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program content announced on Museum website, RAP page and on Goree email network. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to be briefed on new content and developments by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program staff.

Recommend staff attend at least one presentation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to engage with their culture and community through NAIDOC Week events

Head, Learning Services and Community Outreach, senior managers of all business units

July 2015

Host a NAIDOC Week public program event.

Business unit managers support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to attend NAIDOC events.

Provide opportunities for all Museum staff to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture during NAIDOC Week

Chair, RAP Working Group

July 2015

Host a NAIDOC Week event with the aim of maximising attendance by Museum staff.

Engage employees in understanding the protocols around Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country ceremonies to ensure there is shared meaning behind the ceremonies

Head, Executive Support Unit and Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Advisor to Director

July 2015

Develop, implement and communicate a protocol document for Museum on Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country to achieve:

  • Significant Museum public events are routinely opened with a Welcome to Country from a Traditional Owner
  • Acknowledgement of Country is used at all Museum external events
  • Standardised Acknowledgement of Country for Museum staff to use at internal and external events, including suggested wording and structure
  • Provide Acknowledgement of Country information for use by organisations hiring the Museum’s venues.

Recommend an Acknowledgement of Country at the entry of the Museum or in a prominent location.

Consider adding Acknowledgement of Country to Museum recruitment information.

Ensure that cultural protocols are incorporated into business as usual.

Raise staff awareness of the purpose and use of protocols, through provision of information on intranet and at all staff meetings.

Empower audiences internationally to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

Director


Head, Executive Support Unit


Head, Exhibitions Projects and Interpretation

June 2016

July 2015


June 2016

Continue to facilitate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and exhibitions internationally.

At least one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander banner exhibition available on request to all Australian diplomatic missions. More on our reconciliation banner display

Progress made on delivery of one major exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to an overseas cultural institution.

Focus area 5 Develop internal and external stakeholders' knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cultures, histories, perspectives and contributions

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Engage employees in cultural learning to increase understanding and appreciation of different cultural backgrounds in order to lay the foundation for other RAP actions to be achieved

Head, Human Resources










Head, Exhibitions Projects and Interpretation

Publishing Manager

June 2016

Provide training opportunities for cultural competency and professional development programs for all staff, and ensure that all staff are informed about relevant training or development opportunities.

Investigate how to embed participation and completion of cultural awareness training into individual performance agreements.

Investigate co-mentoring options for other Australians by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Display a warning graphic on exhibitions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (deceased persons).


Ensure editorial guidelines for referencing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Museum content are followed.

Empower others to build cultural knowledge

Head Finance, and all senior managers, RAP Working Group

June 2016

Encourage all of Museum’s stakeholders to develop and share a RAP by including the document in service-provider briefing documents and information sessions.


Focus area 6 Promote education and employment pathways

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Set up work experience opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (high school and tertiary)

Head, Human Resources

June 2016

Identify opportunities for work experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Investigate opportunities for secondments or internships

Senior managers of all business units

June 2016

Consider options for secondments between Museum staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Investigate opportunities within the Museum to support and increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes

Director, Head, Human Resources and all senior managers of business units

June 2016

Support development opportunities and increased level of Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander employment:

  • Maintain a level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment which is above the Australian Public Service target
  • Consider including a statement about reconciliation and diversity within recruitment strategies and as a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander positions
  • Scope Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteering/mentorship opportunities as a pathway to employment
  • Review job descriptions in light of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural understanding
  • Consider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on recruitment panels
  • Review available employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in line with current Australian Public Service employment parameters
  • Support non-Indigenous staff and managers with training to increase their understanding of the issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment and retention
  • Scope adding a video onto the Museum recruitment page advertising specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment with the Museum
  • Review existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy/models from other government departments to consider developing a Museum strategy
  • Look at unique opportunities for Museum jobs in order to attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants.

Focus area 7 Supplier diversity and creating opportunity

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Investigate opportunities to increase supplier diversity within the Museum

Shop Manager and Head of Finance


















Marketing and Communications

June 2016

Review current procurement practices and how the Museum stocks its shop through purchasing from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business.

Investigate membership with Supply Nation.

Merchandising through ICIP, inclusive of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander business lines.

Invite local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers and contractors to participate in market days ‘Selling Yarns’, MINMin’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander food days etc.

Formalise and increase partnerships with artists and stock suppliers and promote artists’ and makers’ works through the Museum’s retail spaces.

Review current procurement processes to expand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement.

Promote Museum events and exhibitions to the tourist market.

TRACKING PROGRESS AND REPORTING

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable targets

Report achievements, challenges and learnings

Head, Executive Support Unit

June 2016

Annual reporting on implementation and outcomes of the RAP to be presented to the Council and Indigenous Reference Group.

Complete and submit the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia annually.

RAP progress is to be reported in the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire in the Museum's annual report.

RAP Report available on Museum's website, RAP page and Reconciliation Australia website.

Contact us

Executive Officer
Governance Unit
Phone: 02 6208 5000
Email: information@nma.gov.au

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