DPS is delivering on the practical actions it committed to on 8 July 2016, during
NAIDOC Week, when the four parliamentary departments launched their second joint
Reconciliation Action Plan.
Reconciliation Action Plans, or RAPs, are business plans that set out practical
initiatives to build stronger relationships and enhanced respect between
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians and help
foster equality by supporting improved opportunities. This second RAP, which has
been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, outlines what the four departments
will do to be more actively involved in the journey of reconciliation and to
play our part in closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples and other Australians.
In August 2017, two e-learning modules from the Australian Institute
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Core Cultural
Learning course were released to DPS staff as mandatory training. The modules
aim to strengthen DPS’ cultural capability across all aspects of the work we do.
Additional modules will be released to staff though 2018.
In August 2017 DPS participated in the first Australian Public Service Commission
(APSC) Indigenous Mentoring Program. Two DPS employees were selected as mentors
for the four-month program.
In February 2018, the DPS RAP Champion joined the Australian Public Service
Commission (APSC) Indigenous Champions Network. The network, which meets
quarterly, focuses on collaborations between agencies and exploring new ideas
that lead to better employment outcomes for Indigenous employees.
Parliamentary Service Indigenous Employee Network
The Parliamentary Service Indigenous Employee Network (PSIEN) was established in
2017 and is supported by the four parliamentary departments. The network was
established to provide a safe supportive environment for all parliamentary
service Indigenous employees to meet and express their views, experiences and
concerns pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues both
professionally and personally. The PSIEN continued to gain momentum during its
second year, meeting on a monthly basis and increasing its membership. In May
2018, the PSIEN coordinated an event to launch National Reconciliation Week.
National Reconciliation Week launch at Parliament House. (Auspic)
Indigenous art protocols, practices and networks
The Parliament House Art Collection is a significant public collection of
Australian art and DPS is committed to applying best practice policies and
procedures in all aspects of its dealings with Indigenous artists and their
works of art. DPS is a member of the Indigenous Art Code, which promotes
industry best practice in upholding Indigenous Australian artists’ rights. DPS
adopts the Charter of Principles for Publicly Funded Collecting Institutions in
managing the Parliament House Art Collection. The charter promotes professional
best practice in the acquisition and management of artworks by Indigenous artists.
President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan and Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the Hon Tony Smith MP. Artwork credit: Tjaruwa Woods
(1954–), Jennifer Mitchell (1955–), Myrtle Pennington (Circa 1939–), Kanta
Donnegan (Circa 1944–), Ngalpingka Simms (n.d) Kuru Ala, The Home of the
Seven Sisters, 2017, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra ACT. (Auspic)
NAIDOC Week 2017 and National Reconciliation Week
To celebrate NAIDOC Week 2017, DPS staged two major exhibitions. Prevailing
Voices–Indigenous Australian Parliamentarians, coincided with the
unveiling of the portrait of the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, while Sageraw
Thonar–stories from the south–easterly
season, showcased large linocut prints from the Badu
Art Centre in the Torres Strait.
The National Reconciliation Week program of events for 2018 started on 25 May
with a moving ceremony held by the PSIEN. The ceremonial flags were handed to
the Parliamentary Service RAP Champions before being flown at the Parliament
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the presentation of the Barunga Statement,
DPS partnered with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to launch a significant temporary exhibition on the
history of the Statement. This was launched on 29 May 2018 by Senator Patrick
Dodson and the event included a screening of a landmark short film
‘Make it Right’.