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Our Reconciliation Action Plan

02.05.22

Article

As an organisation, Council to Homeless Persons has long acknowledged that the significant over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples among people without a home is a direct and enduring consequence of colonisation. On 28 April 2022, CHP formalised our commitment to reconciliation with the launch of our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

What is a RAP?

Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

Since 2006, RAPs have enabled organisations to take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. Based around core pillars of relationships, respect, opportunities and governance, RAPs provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increasing economic equity and supporting First Nations self-determination. 

There are four types of RAP – Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate – which allow organisations to continuously develop their reconciliation commitments, depending on the stage of their reconciliation journey. 
 

About our RAP

CHP has been on a journey towards reconciliation for a number of years across all aspects of its business. Our commitment to reconciliation is led by the Board, the CEO, the management group, and by a RAP working group.

Our RAP is an Innovate RAP, and outlines our vision for reconciliation and commitment to progressing reconciliation. The RAP applies to every aspect of CHP’s work, and commitment to the RAP is well embedded across the organisation.

Over the course of our RAP, CHP will formalise and monitor opportunities to strengthen the relationships we have currently with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations. Strong relationships are the means through which we learn how to support reconciliation, and how to put it into practice.

The actions we will undertake have been, and will continue to be, guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations.

RAP artwork

CHP is grateful to Wurundjeri artist, Millsy, for providing permissions to use the artwork, Miles Apart (2020, acrylic on canvas) for our RAP.

This artwork was created through The Torch, a not for profit organisation, that provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria.

Millsy (Wurundjeri), Miles Apart 2020, acrylic on canvas
CHP’s vision for reconciliation

CHP committed to developing a RAP in recognition of its role in addressing the enormous over‑representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples among those experiencing homelessness. The fact that 1 in 6 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Victorians experience homelessness each year is unacceptable, and a major barrier to achieving reconciliation.

The following statements outline our vision to progressing reconciliation and delivering true equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

Our vision for reconciliation is an Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures across the country are valued and respected.

We envisage an Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination is meaningfully achieved and where the structural forces that can lead to homelessness do not impact disproportionately on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We are committed to combating discrimination and stigma wherever it exists, recognising that these forces impact on people’s likelihood of experiencing periods without a home.

We celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as a core part of our work.

We celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as a point of pride for all Australians, and recognise such celebration as an important means of combating discrimination and stigma.

Our vision for reconciliation recognises that dispossession and colonisation are ongoing processes, needing to be addressed in the present.

Ongoing colonisation is realised through processes that result in increased homelessness, including over-incarceration, child removal, and housing discrimination. In our vision for reconciliation, the processes of colonisation cease, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are no longer over-represented in the number of people without a home.

Our vision for reconciliation recognises that dispossession and colonisation are ongoing processes, needing to be addressed in the present.

Ongoing colonisation is realised through processes that result in increased homelessness, including over-incarceration, child removal, and housing discrimination. In our vision for reconciliation, the processes of colonisation cease, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are no longer over-represented in the number of people without a home.

Reconciliation includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples determining the solutions and programs required to meet their own needs.

Our vision requires strong and well-resourced Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) that are empowered to develop and deliver unique, responsive solutions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples without a home.

Our vision requires all specialist homelessness services to be culturally competent, committed to, and working to achieve reconciliation.

Together, we can address the housing instability and periods without a home that are an ongoing barrier to reconciliation.

Our launch event

As part of our RAP launch, we held a small celebration on 28 March 2022. This included a welcome to country from Uncle Colin Hunter, musical guest Madi Coville, and speeches by consumer advocate Aunty Carmel Harrison on her experience of homelessness, CHP CEO Jenny Smith, and Joelle Low from Reconciliation Australia.

The event was broadcast online and is available to view via the CHP YouTube channel for those unable to attend. Some images from the event are included below.

We send our appreciation to everyone who spoke, attended, and planned the event.

Read the RAP in full

You can learn more about our commitment to reconciliation, including detailed actions and timelines, in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

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