At Mother Duck, we recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a unique place in Australia as the original inhabitants of the land. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism.
Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps toward reconciliation have been taken. We believe that reconciliation is everyone’s business and starts with historical acceptance by all Australians. Historical acceptance is described as the acknowledgment of the wrongs of the past, and understanding and accepting the impact of these wrongs.
In 2009, Australia gave its formal support to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a ground-breaking document that seeks to reset relationships between indigenous peoples and governments around the globe. However, despite some improvements in recent years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be one of the most vulnerable groups in Australia.
At Mother Duck, we choose to foster learning and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contributions. In support of bridging the gap and reconciling past wrongs, our Mother Duck community has moved beyond perfunctory demonstrations of acknowledgment and tokenistic symbols of inclusion to formally committing to strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
Since 2006, Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) have enabled organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. Based on the core pillars of relationships, respect, and opportunities, RAPs provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and support First Nations self-determination.
Did you know that there are more than 10,000 schools and early learning services that have developed RAP’s across Australia, and in 2023 our Mother Duck organisation joined this commitment of reconciliation and can proudly announce that every Mother Duck early childhood service’s RAP was approved first by the Principal/Director on the Narragunnawali platform, then forwarded onto Reconciliation Australia who reviewed each services RAP Vision for Reconciliation and Acknowledgement of Country statements before publishing each RAP.
Use the map to search for your Mother Duck service’s published RAP.
Key steps each of our Mother Duck services followed when developing a Reconciliation Action Plan –
- Establishing a RAP working group
- Each of our Mother Duck services chose a Working Group to ensure that the responsibility of implementing reconciliation initiatives did not sit with one person
- Completing the Reflection Survey
- To assist with planning, the Reflection Survey gave us a snapshot of the current state of reconciliation in each of our Mother Duck early learning services
- Writing a vision for reconciliation
- We created a Vision to clearly communicate our individual Mother Duck service’s commitment to reconciliation to the community.
- Adding RAP actions
- There are 40 RAP Actions that our Mother Duck services select from when writing the RAP, including 14 that were a minimum requirement.
- Submit the RAP
- Each individual RAP was then submitted to the Principal/Director for approval and then to Reconciliation Australia who reviewed the RAP’s Vision for Reconciliation and Acknowledgement of Country statements prior to approving our 11 Mother Duck publications on the ‘Who has a RAP?’ map
- Refreshing the RAP
- 12 months after publication, our RAPs will be reverted to draft to allow each of our RAP Working Group to ensure it remains a dynamic, living document.
What is a RAP? – https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/raps/what-is-a-rap
YES we intend to stop and celebrate the work achieved by each of our Mother Duck services in successfully submitting and holding a published RAP, however, our journey of reflection, learning, and celebration of diversity does not stop there, this is just the start of living our commitment to reconciliation.
NOW with the continued support from our very own Mother Duck RAP Working Group Chair, we are focused on making progress in implementing our RAP actions and ensuring forward momentum as we reflect on practice, plan and enact action, and achieve the goals we have set.