Our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launched in 2013. Although it was still early in our journey as a business, it was an important step – and one we were determined to take.
Three years later we launched our second RAP with the purpose of embedding the values of Reconciliation into the way we operate. Our goal was to help ensure Australia’s First Peoples had (and continue to have) opportunities to participate in the rollout and potential benefits of the nbn™ network.
Our third RAP, introduced in October 2018, had an increased emphasis on community engagement, building and encouraging collaboration, increasing employment and procurement opportunities and lifting the digital capability of all Australians.
Our fourth RAP launched in November 2020 has a strong emphasis on connecting communities safely and increasing our internal engagement with First Peoples cultures and aspirations for digital inclusion. Additionally, we have a targeted focus on developing partnerships and opportunities to support First Peoples women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) as well as entrepreneurs.
Since launching our first RAP, we have accomplished a number of achievements. These include:
- Deployment of 36 emergency, community wi-fi solutions across the country, between June 2020 and November 2020 to support First Peoples communities as part of our COVID-19 response.
- Working with Queensland Police to deploy emergency communication services at seven vehicle checkpoints, supporting the safety of First Peoples communities placed in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Collaborating with key government and peak industry bodies to improve telehealth capabilities and digital health participation along with improved connectivity and digital capability for indigenous arts centres.
- Implementing Cultural Heritage procedures in the design and build of the network to respect and protect places and sites of significance.
- Establishing a large team of regionally based and department-diverse leaders to guide the implementation of our RAP, while also creating excitement and encouraging involvement in First Peoples initiatives and events.
- Ensuring our Delivery Partners were part of our RAP journey by implementing Participation and Engagement Management Plans that set targets for employment and First Peoples Business spend.
- Ensuring a consistent approach utilising the First Peoples cultural heritage protocols.
- Delivering nbn™ Reconciliation Awareness training to more than 83% of our employees.
- Introducing Welcome to Country at significant events.
- Introducing Acknowledgement of Country to major internal and external meetings throughout Australia.
- Focusing on our partnership with Supply Nation to help increase procurement spend with listed Indigenous Suppliers.
- Establishing relationships with First Peoples organisations and communities including Career Trackers, Work Ventures, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation APY Lands Council and the Melythina Tiakana Warrana Aboriginal Corporation and its communities.
- Reviewing our policies and procedures to reduce any barriers to recruiting or retaining First Peoples. We have tailored our recruitment channels to attract more First Peoples candidates.
- Ensuring our volunteering policies have no barriers to First Peoples volunteer activities or participation in community events such as NAIDOC week.
- Establishing our First Peoples community – Liakukana. This word means ‘waterfall’ and embodies the sentiment of a ripple effect. This name was gifted to us by the Melythina Tiakana Warrana Aboriginal Corporation and numerous other affiliated TRACA organisations.
- Visiting more First Peoples communities to understand their needs. In doing this we are looking at the development of technical and product solutions to help meet those needs.
- Expanding our Internship program in partnership with CareerTrackers. We look to link the internship to nbn graduate and scholarship programs to facilitate First Peoples' participation.
- Delivering nbn™ Reconciliation Awareness training - Our Continued Journey, our second module, to the business.
- Delivering Cyber Safety awareness in the Northern Territory and South Australia in partnership with local stakeholders and with a focus on ensuring culturally appropriate education.
As part of our fourth RAP, we will continue the following actions:
- Connecting First Peoples' communities safely
- Increasing digital ability through culturally led cyber safety awareness and education
- Exploring relevant product development opportunities, in partnership with First Peoples’ communities
- Promoting internal awareness of nbn’s partnerships with First Peoples aimed at lifting digital inclusion
- Increasing representation of First Peoples in nbn’s workforce through targeted recruitment and retention
- Increasing nbn’s spend with indigenous suppliers (both direct and indirect)
These initiatives allow us to continue our reconciliation journey, proudly building on our previous Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) and focuses on the areas we believe will make the biggest difference.