Steps Towards Reconciliation: A Conversation with RGF Staffing's Reconciliation Strategy Manager Jackie Reilly

In the lead-up to Reconciliation Week, we reflect on the efforts our organisation is making towards reconciliation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Peoplebank’s parent company RGF Staffing, commits to these efforts primarily through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). With Reconciliation Week fast approaching we wanted to shed light on the initiative, so we sat down with Jackie Reilly, RGF Staffing's Reconciliation Strategy Manager, to discuss the significance of our RAP.

Jackie's role extends beyond merely implementing the RAP; she plays a pivotal role in fostering cultural awareness and safety within the organisation. As she explains, "I do a lot ... from tracking and implementing the reconciliation action plan to working on bids, tenders, and proposals and ensuring cultural safety in our workplace and the communities we work in."

Central to RGF Staffing's commitment to reconciliation is our RAP, currently in its second ‘Innovate’ phase. Jackie emphasises that the purpose of these plans is: "To show commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities." The RAP aims to create culturally safe workplaces, build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and educate our stakeholders on obstacles these communities face. Overall, the framework demonstrates a commitment to enhancing the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, aligning with the federal government's Closing the Gap initiative aimed at addressing disparities in areas such as birth rates, mortality, employment, and justice.

As RGF Staffing prepares to transition to a ‘Stretch’ phase RAP, Jackie highlights the significance of this advancement. "Our progress will be made public for others to view, bringing greater accountability," she explains. Stretch RAPs signify a deeper commitment and establish key partnerships essential for meaningful reconciliation efforts.

Reflecting on RGF Staffing's journey, Jackie acknowledges the progress made while recognising areas for improvement. "Completing a second ‘Innovate’ RAP demonstrates our commitment," she notes. "Now, as we plan for the future, we aim to implement even more impactful initiatives."

In light of the upcoming Reconciliation Week, Jackie underscores the importance of engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sensitively, especially in the wake of recent events like "The Voice." "Proceed with caution," she advises. "While it's crucial to celebrate our culture, it's equally important to respect those who may not feel like celebrating. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are feeling the effects of cultural loading.”

Looking ahead, Jackie encourages RGF Staffing team members to actively participate in Reconciliation Week events and initiatives. "We'll put out correspondence in regard to what you can do to celebrate if there's any events going on in your area.”

As Reconciliation Week approaches, RGF Staffing and Peoplebank reaffirm their dedication to reconciliation. Through initiatives like the RAP and ongoing community engagement, they strive to pave the way for a more inclusive and respectful future.

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