1011.0 - ABS Reconciliation Action Plan, 2018-21  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2018   
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OUR RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN

This Reconciliation Action Plan builds on the achievements of our previous two Reconciliation Action Plans, and demonstrates our continuing commitment to Reconciliation through the following strategies.

Strategies Desired Results
Build and strengthen our relationships We actively support and promote Reconciliation within our organisation, sector, and the community, through understanding, recognising, valuing and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our relationships ensure we can accurately engage and represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and businesses in our statistical collections.
Deepen our understanding and show our respect We understand, acknowledge and celebrate the cultures, histories and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, partners and stakeholders.
Create opportunities Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee representation is the same as for the Australian population.
We procure goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.


This Reconciliation Action Plan will support the delivery of our Transformation Goals:
  • Strategy: Our strategies enable rigorous statistics, strong partnerships, and effective use of resources.
  • Governance: Our governance supports responsive decision making, prioritisation and management of enterprise risk.
  • Environment: We collaborate with stakeholders to understand and respond better to the current and future external environment.
  • Infrastructure: Our infrastructure is effective, efficient and adaptable.
  • People: We have a diverse, expert, motivated and agile workforce.
  • Culture: We are high performing, aligned, engaged, innovative and accountable.

It will also contribute to the delivery of the ABS Workforce Strategy, which provides a strategic outlook for transforming our workforce and driving high performance.


ACHIEVEMENTS WITHIN THE ABS:

Relationships
  • Established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group that includes Senior Executives and Youmpla (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Employee Network members.
  • Increased the number of reconciliation champions from one to five Senior Executive Service members and distributed flag pins to all SES employees, many of whom proudly display those daily to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation.
  • Participated on the APS wide Indigenous Champions Network and Indigenous Liaison Network.
  • Established, and continue to support, the Youmpla employee network where members meet on a monthly basis in a friendly, informal environment to share knowledge, information and experiences. Held our first face-to-face Youmpla network meeting in 2016 and another in February 2018.
  • SES Reconciliation Champion and a Youmpla employee network member are active participants in the formal governance of the ABS through membership of the ABS People Committee.
  • Successful broad stakeholder engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure accurate counting of communities during the Census.
  • Transitioned the Darwin office to become a Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics and Remote Engagement.
  • Implemented strategies to increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in statistical surveys to ensure a higher representation.
  • Promoted a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics with the support of Aboriginal spokesperson, for example Professor Tom Calma.

Respect
  • Updated the Learning and Development offerings to include Cultural Awareness training.
  • Implemented a protocol for the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders for Welcome to Country for significant events.
  • Updated Acknowledge of Country protocols, developed cards for employees and SES to support undertaking Acknowledgement to Country.
  • Cards identifying the Traditional Owners of the lands within which particular ABS offices are located are visible to all participants in our Video-conferencing rooms.
  • Increased consultation and commitment to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees on the updating and implementation of strategies and policies.
  • Celebrated NAIDOC and Reconciliation week in all ABS offices each year, with a smoking ceremony marking the anniversary of the Geelong site opening and more active engagement and involvement of ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in presenting at events.

Opportunities
  • Implemented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment and retention strategies outlined in the ABS workplace diversity action plan, including advertising in targeted Indigenous publications and wording that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are encouraged to apply.
  • Participated in the APS Indigenous Graduate Pathways Program.
  • Ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees graduated in December 2016 after successful completion of the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP) and advanced to the next APS level (APS4).
  • Participated in and developed mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities with several employees completing secondments to Indigenous community organisations as part of the Jawun Indigenous APS Community Secondment Program.
  • Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Public Service Commission relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.
  • Successfully engaged in partnerships with other APS agencies to seek opportunities for ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
  • A number of SES employees are mentoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentees in the APS Indigenous mentoring program.
  • Increased $ value of goods and services procured from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.


HOW THE RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN WAS DEVELOPED

The ABS Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–2021 builds upon the achievements of previous Reconciliation Action Plans. It was developed in consultation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee network (Youmpla), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group, and employees. Reconciliation Australia provided input and support to ensure the plan met the high standards required by their accreditation framework.

OUR CHAMPIONS

We have four Reconciliation Champions and an Inclusion and Diversity Champion who are members of the Senior Executive Service. The Champions work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees (including the ABS Youmpla Network) to cultivate strong and productive relationships. They promote, support, advocate and raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes and foster cultural awareness and mutually beneficial partnerships with the ABS. They also play a strong role in collaborating across government within the APS Senior Indigenous Champions Network.

OUR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER REFERENCE GROUP

Our reference group is made up of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, Reconciliation Champions and Senior Executives. Their main purpose is to implement, review, report and deliver on the Reconciliation Action Plan. They have established terms of reference, strong governance arrangements, and meet on a quarterly and ad-hoc basis. Membership of the internal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group includes:

  • the Youmpla Network (involvement is optional for individual members)
  • the Senior Reconciliation Champion
  • the Program Manager, Indigenous and Social Reporting
  • Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (CoEATSIS) representative
  • a CPSU representative
  • a National Learning and Capability Development Section representative
  • a National Recruitment Unit representative
  • the Director, People Strategies (Chair)