Reconciliation Action Plan for 2015 to 2018

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1 Reconciliation Action Plan for 2015 to 2018 Our vision for reconciliation To create employment opportunities for Islander Australians and establish an inclusive and harmonious work environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination. Our business WorkCover WA 2 Bedbrook Place Shenton Park WA 6008 WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for overseeing the workers' compensation and injury management system in Western Australia. This includes monitoring compliance with the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, informing and educating workers, employers and other stakeholders about workers' compensation and injury management as well as providing an independent dispute resolution system. WorkCover WA has a staff complement of 150 which includes four identified Islander staff members. Our RAP WorkCover WA recognises that more action needs to be taken to ensure Islander Australians enjoy the same economic and social benefits as others in this country. We acknowledge that this is a long-term goal, and aim to actively contribute to reducing inequity amongst Islander people. The RAP was first compiled in 2008 to cover the period 2008 to 2010, and was subsequently refreshed in 2010 and This new plan covers the period 2014 to This plan was developed by, and is the responsibility of the Equity and Diversity Committee (E & D C). The Committee (which incorporates the RAP working group) consists of a member of the Corporate Executive as Chair and nominated representatives from each of WorkCover WA s Divisions together with representatives for disability and Islander matters. The RAP working group is represented by an Islander person. The RAP was developed collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members and other WorkCover WA staff. 1

2 The Committee covers the following WorkCover WA plans. Reconciliation Action Plan 2014 to Strategic Workforce Plan 2012 to 2016 (incorporating the Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plan). The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2013 to This approach continues to promote a cross-agency perspective. The Committee meets quarterly and promotes increased employee understanding of Islander cultures and values, as well as initiatives leading to equitable employment practices for Islander people. Our Reconciliation Journey WorkCover WA s previous Reconciliation Action Plans contributed significantly to the ideals contained in its vision for reconciliation. Cultural awareness and respectful relationships were promoted between Islander staff members and the rest of WorkCover WA s workforce. Through the traineeship program WorkCover WA was able to increase its proportional representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to the present level. This will be maintained and where possible increased. The new RAP draws on the learnings and better understandings identified in the previous two plans and builds upon their initiatives. This plan will continue WorkCover WA s strong commitment to building relationships, enhancing existing relationships, respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and providing opportunities which will contribute to improving the progress of reconciliation. The following are a few of the ways in which WorkCover WA staff developed an understanding and appreciation of how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are rich and enduring and can add value to our workplace and country. Since WorkCover WA s first RAP was compiled in 2008 staff have learnt much about the lives and cultures of Islander peoples. Staff have learnt about Islander peoples connection to country and knowledge of lands and seas such as the use of flora and fauna for sources of food and medicine. Staff were given an understanding of the six weather seasons, that are more earth aware than a traditional western framework of four, of the Noongar people of the south west of Western Australia, who have lived in the south west for centuries. Staff also became aware of contemporary issues affecting Islander peoples, including the High Court s judgment in the 1992 Mabo case which recognised the Native Title rights of the Islander peoples as the original inhabitants of the continent. The Australian Government s apology to Islander peoples for past hurts, suffering and loss inflicted on these our fellow Australians was a profound acknowledgement of the past and laid the claim to a future that embraces all Australians. We also became more aware of the contribution to Australia s war efforts by the Islander peoples who served with bravery and distinction in the first and second world war theatres of conflict. National Reconciliation Week brought about mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other. 2

3 Relationships Engaging with Islander peoples enables WorkCover WA to build effective relationships that provide the foundation for positive changes. 1. Celebrate NRW by providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and other employees to build relationships. Equity and Diversity Committee Secretary.. Regular staff updates are provided on how to be involved internal and external NRW celebrations. Celebration of National Reconciliation Week one internal event held each year. 2 Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples external to WorkCover WA. Equity and Diversity Committee Secretary Attendance at the Commonwealth Government sponsored Commonwealth/State Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Networking Group on a quarterly basis 3. Raise internal awareness of our RAP Resources, RAP Contact Officer and Corporate Communications with CEO approval. Identify other opportunities to engage with WorkCover WA s Islander stakeholders Develop specific intranet articles with general RAP content and reference material. Provide all staff with a copy of the RAP Include the RAP in the online induction program The internet and the staff intranet are updated with the new RAP and associated information. 3

4 Relationships Engaging with Islander peoples enables WorkCover WA to build effective relationships that provide the foundation for positive changes. 4. The Equity & Diversity Committee will act as the Working Group to monitor the development, tracking progress and reporting of the RAP and to discuss issues to be implemented within their respective divisions. Quarterly meetings with a RAP-specific agenda. 4

5 Respect WorkCover WA understands that Islander peoples, histories and cultures hold a unique place within Australia and respecting and acknowledging this enables us to genuinely strive towards cultural harmony. 1. Engage employees in cultural learning to increase understanding and appreciation of different cultural backgrounds in order to lay the foundation for other RAP actions to be achieved.. Undertake established cultural awareness training for all new staff within their first 3 months of employment. 100% of staff received cultural awareness training. 2. Provide opportunities for Islander employees to engage with their culture and community through NAIDOC Week events. 3. Engage employees in understanding the protocols around Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country ceremonies to ensure there is shared meaning behind the ceremonies. Resources and RAP Contact Officer. Resources and Equity and Diversity Committee Secretary. July annually. Opportunities provided for Islander employees to celebrate their culture through NAIDOC Week events. Regular review of WorkCover WA HR policies and procedures to ensure there are no barriers to staff participating in NAIDOC week. Development of a protocol document, including information about Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country in the induction program of WorkCover WA. A Welcome to Country to be delivered at the commencement of the biennial Injury Management Conference and at the commencement of other similarly significant external events. Inclusion of an Acknowledgment of Country in significant internal WorkCover WA events and meetings 5

6 Opportunities Creating opportunities for Islander peoples is of great importance within WorkCover WA and will contribute to Islander equality. 1. Continue the traineeship program with the focus on Islander peoples employment. January annually. The Islander peoples traineeship employment level is maintained at a minimum of 1% of all staff. 2. Maintain and where possible increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participation in the workforce. 3. Identify and promote training and development activities for Islander employees. 4. Encourage study assistance to trainees and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. 5. Provide the opportunity for Islander employees to participate in a mentoring program to improve employment outcomes. Divisional Heads, Branch Managers and 30. Current percentage of 2.6% is maintained or increased. 30. At least one training and development opportunity is offered to all Islander staff annually. 30. All Islander staff are offered participation in an approved study assistance program. 30. A structured mentoring program is offered to 100% of Islander employees. Effectiveness of Islander employee structured mentoring program for inclusion in future professional development strategies evaluated. 6

7 Opportunities Creating opportunities for Islander peoples is of great importance within WorkCover WA and will contribute to Islander equality. 6. Investigate opportunities to increase the procurement of goods and services from Islander businesses at WorkCover WA. Procurement and Contracts Coordinator June 2015 A Register of Islander businesses is developed. Goods procured from Islander businesses as required. WorkCover WA will aim to purchase from a minimum of one Aboriginal business by June 2015 Tracking progress and reporting 1. Launch new RAP through and Notice Board. General Manager Corporate 30 September RAP published. 2. Maintain a dedicated RAP contact within Workforce WA. 3. Report on outcomes of the RAP internally, externally and to Reconciliation Australia. Corporate Communications. 31 July annually. RAP contact name on Notice Board and intranet. 30. Include outcomes of the RAP in the Annual Report of WorkCover WA and the CEO Performance Agreement. Submit an Annual Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia. Contact details: Resources, Telephone (08) , 7

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