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1011.0 - ABS Reconciliation Action Plan, 2013-2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2013  First Issue
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OUR RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN VISION (RAP)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) vision for reconciliation is one where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the same employment and development opportunities as other Australians, and have the ability to utilise statistics to make informed decisions about their families and communities.

OUR BUSINESS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is Australia's national statistical agency. The ABS provides key statistics on a wide range of economic, environmental and social issues. The ABS also plays an important leadership and coordination role in relation to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both within Australia and internationally.

The ABS mission is to assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

OUR APPROACH TO RECONCILIATION

The ABS is committed to reconciliation. In line with the ABS mission, the ABS assists and encourages informed decision making, research and discussion among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their communities and organisations, and within governments and the wider community. It does this by leading and coordinating statistical activity involving and relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) sets out actions the ABS will take to:

  • increase the recruitment, retention* and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ABS;
  • build the capability of ABS employees to respond effectively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities through respect and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture;
  • ensure that ABS policies, programs and services effectively respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities; and
  • develop the statistical literacy skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to enable them to make informed decisions about themselves, their families and their communities.

* As at the 30th June 2012 the ABS employed 2,937 ongoing office based staff, 448 non-ongoing office based staff and 716 field based interviewers, across Australia. The ongoing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation rate at the 30th June 2012 was 0.7%.

OUR RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN (RAP)

This RAP was developed to build on the achievements of the ABS RAP 2008-2011. It shows the ABS’ continuing commitment to reconciliation by focusing on the following key areas: building local connections; building cultural competency; and increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and statistical literacy.

The ABS RAP 2013-2016 was developed by the Workforce Strategies Section in consultation with ABS staff (including Indigenous Engagement Managers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, senior management and specific directors accountable for actions), the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), local Consultative Forums, Reconciliation Australia and various Australian Public Service (APS) agencies.

Consideration of APS diversity initiatives and targets and strong feedback during consultations resulted in the inclusion of some targets (e.g. the Commonwealth target of 2.7 per cent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation) that may be difficult to achieve in the current tight financial environment, when recruitment levels are expected to be very low.

To support continuous improvement and monitoring of the RAP, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group (RG) has been established. The RG contributed to the development of the RAP and will continue to provide periodic reviews and feedback on the progress of the RAP during the life of this Plan. The RG will also assist with the continued development and positive promotion of the RAP into the future.

Many of the actions included in this RAP are further articulated in more detail in supporting policies, programs and strategies. These include:

  • the ABS Workplace Diversity Action Plan (WDAP) 2013-2017;
  • Cultural Protocols for ABS staff working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Protocols for the Appropriate Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and
  • the ABS Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy (ICES).

In addition to the actions identified in this RAP, current and future forward work program activities that contribute to achieving the ABS RAP 2013-2016 outcomes are listed in Appendix 1. Tracking and reporting on the progress of these activities will be conducted as part of the ABS RAP 2013-2016 internal and external reporting.

The actions and forward work program activities in this RAP will be reviewed annually in consultation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group, key accountability areas and Consultative Forums. The RAP will be modified where necessary to ensure actions and targets remain relevant over the life of the Plan. Progress and achievements will be monitored and reported each year to Reconciliation Australia, ABS' Senior Management and in the ABS' Annual Report.


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