QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said the Innovate-level RAP, developed with guidance from Dr Terri Janke (Wuthathi/Meriam, Australia), the Gallery’s Indigenous Advisory Panel and its Board and staff, and in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia, formalises the institution’s commitment to recognising and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures.
‘The Innovate RAP strives to embed reconciliation within our organisation’s vision and values and represents a crucial milestone for our understanding and sharing of the rich cultural histories and stories of First Australians now and into the future,’ Mr Saines said.
‘The Gallery has a long history of representing First Australians through its collecting, exhibitions, programs and other activities, and it is necessary and timely to formalise our commitment through measurable actions to affect real and lasting change.
‘The development of the RAP has been an organisation-wide endeavour: more than 110 staff members contributed to a workshop facilitated to reflect on our reconciliation journey so far and set aspirations for future improvement, and a staff Reconciliation Working Group will continue to drive and champion the outcomes.
‘We want to recognise and empower Indigenous peoples and be open to truth-telling in the way we collect, display, care for, share and celebrate their unique cultural and artistic voices.
‘Implementation of the RAP will increase our connections with Indigenous communities, create more employment and economic opportunities, and champion the representation of First Australians,’ he said.
Minister Enoch said the launch of QAGOMA’s RAP marks a significant milestone in the Gallery’s collective journey towards truth-telling and a more respectful and inclusive future.
‘The Plan provides a model for QAGOMA to develop and strengthen relationships, engage staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, and commit to a deeper consideration of how Australian First Nations stories are shared and understood,’ Minister Enoch said.
‘The Reconciliation Action Plan is an important deliverable of the Queensland Government’s Creative Together ten-year roadmap and its priority to elevate First Nations arts.
‘We continue to push forward in advancing human rights, reconciliation and this Government’s Path to Treaty to heal the past and create new relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Queenslanders,’ Ms Enoch said.
Actions planned across the RAP’s three core pillars, Relationships, Respect and Opportunities, include:
Meeting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations across the state to develop guiding principles for future engagement;
Developing an Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property protocols policy informed by liaison with artists and communities;
Implementing a cultural learning strategy for all staff;
Increasing the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff employed in our workforce;
Encouraging private and corporate philanthropic support for First Australian art acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, development programs and employment.
Mr Saines described the Gallery’s vision for reconciliation as an Australia that respects and elevates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, creativity, knowledge, customs and cultures, and promotes equality, equity and positive engagement.
‘In the spirit of reconciliation and with a desire to empower First Australians, QAGOMA will address the historical underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the country’s first creators, artists and storytellers,’ he said.
‘QAGOMA acknowledges that reconciliation is achieved through the cooperative efforts of all Australians. Through art, we will work to achieve equity, truth-telling, justice, and respectful, thoughtful engagement, both in the Gallery and across the state,’ Mr Saines said.
Reconciliation Australia defines an Innovate RAP as developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, and developing and piloting innovative strategies to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.