The development of the University’s third Reconciliation Action Plan is underway. As one of several key supporting plans in the University of Melbourne’s Growing Esteem 2015 – 2020 strategy, the RAP represents a University-wide commitment to using our expertise and resources in research, teaching and learning and engagement to make a sustained contribution to Indigenous development.
RAP 3 will see a shift in focus from the current RAP's six University Action Areas (Partnerships, Cultural Recognition, Student Recruitment and Retention, Staff Employment, Teaching and Learning Strategies, Research) with 57 measures and targets, to the development of a smaller number of Signature Projects, the outcomes of which will be transformational in terms of their impact. These projects will be categorised under four themes: 'Our Place', 'Purposeful Partnerships', 'International Engagement' and 'Leadership for Change', and will be mapped against the Reconciliation Australia Framework: Respect, Relationships and Opportunities.
The University would like to thank respondents for providing thoughtful and insightful feedback on the draft RAP 2018 – 2022 document in November 2017.
Responses displayed a high level of engagement with the aims of the RAP and the University’s approach to reconciliation more generally. Close to 500 members of the University community engaged with the process.
It is important to acknowledge that the RAP 2018-2022 does not reflect all projects and initiatives that are underway or will be undertaken over the next five years. In particular, a project to develop a more extensive Cultural Competency program for University staff has commenced and work on embedding Indigenous Knowledges into the curricula is a priority. This work does not feature in the RAP because it is considered to be part of the University’s core business. Rather, our RAP aims to provide particular momentum and prominence to a select number of Signature Projects that are not currently part of the University’s core business and will together achieve transformational change.
Other suggestions made by respondents for Signature Projects that could be added to the RAP included: a review of HR processes and pay levels to facilitate recognition of Indigenous cultural expertise; a focus on improving responsibility and accountability of non-Indigenous staff; an increase in Indigenous research and teaching of Indigenous studies; and schools outreach programs. Each of these suggestions are being addressed by work that is currently underway or planned.
The following changes have been made to the RAP in response to feedback from across the University community. Themes have been reprioritised in order in the following order:
Theme 1: Leadership for Change
Theme 2: Our Place
Theme 3: Purposeful Partnerships
Theme 4: International Engagement
In addition, two new Signature Projects have been added to Purposeful Partnerships, encompassing the University’s strategic partnerships with the Yothu Yindi Foundation and the Goulburn Valley region.
Following endorsement by University Executive, the document will be sent to Reconciliation Australia for endorsement, with the launch of our third RAP planned at Wominjeka in March 2018.
Thank you again for taking the time to provide feedback on the RAP 2018 – 2022.
OUR CAMPUS IN THE 21st CENTURY
Our Campus in the 21st Century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future, and to developing high-quality campus-based experiences for diverse communities.
The University of Melbourne Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2022, expressly mentioned in Growing Esteem, will support Our Campus in the 21st Century through the following:
A culture of inclusion
Through recognition of the value and contribution of Indigenous culture, the RAP provides a framework for the development of understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. ‘A Culture of Inclusion’ across all University of Melbourne campuses ensures that our University is a culturally safe, welcoming and respectful learning and work environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.
This RAP will focus on a number of signature projects that we believe will be transformational in terms of their impact. Focus on the themes of ‘Our Place’, ‘Purposeful Partnerships’, International Engagement’ and ‘Leadership for Change’ will incorporate aspects of the three strands of the Triple Helix (Research, Teaching & Learning and Engagement) creating opportunities for Indigenous staff and students to realise their full potential and the entire University community to purposefully engage with our vision for reconciliation.
Spaces and Places
The University recognises that there is an opportunity to improve the lived experience of the University’s Indigenous cultures through shaping the physical environment and promoting cultural awareness and recognition. As such, our third RAP will include signature projects which will give prominence and due recognition to Indigenous cultures and the important role and contributions of our Traditional Custodians in the built environment.
The current RAP 3 development approach has been endorsed by the University's Traditional Owners and Elders and by the University Executive.
In development of the draft RAP 3, consultations have been held with the following groups:
- Indigenous Academic staff
- Indigenous Professional staff
- Indigenous Undergraduate students
- Indigenous Graduate Students
- Academics involved in teaching and research into Indigenous issues.