That’s a RAP!

15 December 2016

On Thursday 8 December, YWCA Canberra launched its Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at a lunchtime event at our Mura Lanyon Youth and Community Centre.

At YWCA Canberra, we strive to be a community leader in reconciliation by continuously building on our commitment to closing the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community.

The purpose of our Stretch RAP is to formalise and publicise our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, and to inform our decision making as an organisation.

The RAP launch brought together representatives from across the Canberra community, including Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Jannette Phillips, community sector professionals, YWCA Canberra Board Directors and staff, and an up and coming young musician, Dark Rose.

Aunty Jannette kicked off the event with a welcome to country, throughout which she shared insights into the importance of reconciliation and working together as a community. We were particularly moved by her declaration that “knowledge disperses fear” and her personal motto “each one teach one”.

Aunty Jannette finished with a message of kindness and hope, saying “as you embark on the next leg of your service to our community, and the next phase of your reconciliation journey, I wish you luck and thank you for continuing to walk and work with us, the Ngunnawal people”.

Next, we heard from YWCA Canberra Executive Director, Frances Crimmins, and former Board Director and RAP Working Group member, Sarah Stewart.  Both spoke about YWCA Canberra’s dedication not only to taking action on reconciliation within the organisation, but also to championing reconciliation across the broader Canberra community.

Frances said, “RAPs are powerful tools for advancing social change by transforming the attitudes and behaviours of the three million people working or studying in organisations with a RAP. YWCA Canberra has a long and rich history of working with women, young women, girls, and their families to achieve equality for all, and we look forward to continuing the fight for gender equality and reconciliation”.

Sarah shared with the audience how proud she felt to be part of an organisation championing equality for all, and particularly how proud she is of the steps that YWCA Canberra has taken in support of reconciliation.

The audience then had the exciting opportunity to hear from one of Canberra’s up and coming Aboriginal musicians, Roland Brown, aka Dark Rose.

Roland shared his journey, from teaching himself to play the didgeridoo in early 2016, to moving on to playing the didjeribone, and the creation of his own genre ‘tramodinal’ (traditional with a modern twist).

Through Reconciliation Australia and the RAP program, we are proud to be part of a community that is driving positive social change and building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We look forward to taking the next steps on our reconciliation journey, and we invite you to join us.

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