ARTD staff recognise the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and acknowledge their unceded sovereignty. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and respect their continued custodianship of the many lands upon which we conduct our business and the waterways that support life.
We acknowledge the past injustices, untold histories and respect the value, and ongoing contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to our communities and wider Australia.
ARTD would also like to acknowledge that Aboriginal people have been a part of our company’s establishment and have led to our community connections and understanding that for Aboriginal projects, Aboriginal people should have their voices heard.
ARTD’s Reconciliation Action Plan
Emma Walke’s design for ARTD’s RAP shows a story of connection to Country and people and the journey that ARTD has undertaken to connect with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. The white lines are the passages taken, the community symbols of circles of dots are the three office areas, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The coloured dots relate to people, communities and projects that ARTD have completed and worked with over the years. Emma is a Bundjalung woman and potter from Northern NSW and her family is from Cabbage Tree Island/Ballina area.
We developed our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to drive action and accountability, to solidify our commitment and ensure our work supports communities in creating positive outcomes. We would like to acknowledge all staff across our offices who have contributed their time, wisdom and insights into developing our first RAP and who have been a keen part of the dialogue necessary for change to occur.
Much of our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities involves creating a genuine space for us to listen. We walk with them in the design and delivery of evaluations of their own programs to best meet their needs, goals and aspirations. As our company has grown, so too has our portfolio of work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and stakeholders. For this reason, we feel it is important that all our staff build their cultural awareness and competence so they can work respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reflect on their own contributions to reconciliation.
Our RAP will help us to embed and refine processes across our company to ensure we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and stakeholders in a way that meets the empowerment and self-determination principles. It will also ensure that we, as evaluators, are able to promote equity by engaging sensitively and meaningfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build trust and uncover different types of knowledge and evidence to inform ways of doing our work.