This year, when Melba Support Services undertook to create our first Reconciliation Action Plan, it was a huge step in our goal to better connect with First Nations Peoples. As an organisation with human rights as one of our core values, it was also perfectly aligned.
Melba worked with Reconciliation Australia, which has created three types of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) - Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate, which is designed to allow organisations to grow, develop and strengthen their reconciliation commitments. In 2022 we launched our Reflect RAP.
Our Reflect RAP includes nine actions that will help us better connect with First Nations Peoples, as well as timelines for delivering them. It’s a plan that has tangible actions, designed for achieving real change.
One of the key goals we identified is to see greater representation of First Nations Peoples for our staff.
Melba strives to provide culturally appropriate disability support services that respond to the needs of First Nations Peoples with disabilities, and the best way to deliver culturally sensitive services is having a workforce with cultural awareness and lived experiences.
It’s about meeting people at their point of need and empowering them to live the life they want – not the lives an organisation tells them they should be living.
Our Reflect RAP has been designed to take in the five dimensions of reconciliation: race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; unity; and historical acceptance.
“Getting these first steps right will ensure the sustainability of future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives and provide meaningful impact toward Australia’s reconciliation journey," said Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine.
For Melba it's also about recognising that providing our best services mean looking like the community we serve.