Mates4Mates pathway to reconciliation

13 November 2023

Mates4Mates is delighted to share our inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which has been recently endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

As one of the first organisations in our sector to establish and begin to implement a RAP, Mates4Mates is doing so to ensure that our services, operations and workplace is reflective and representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

Through our Reflect RAP, we at Mates4Mates commit to:

  • Ensuring all staff undergo cultural competence training
  • Implementing an Acknowledgement of Country at meetings and events
  • Celebrating National Reconciliation Week
  • Displaying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in all centres
  • Developing and embedding inclusive policies within Mates4Mates.

As part of our Reflect RAP, Mates4Mates established a RAP Working Group, which includes a Reflect RAP Lead, members of our staff from across the country, and endorsement and support from our executive leadership team.

Lead of the Mates4Mates RAP Working Group, Tahni Roberts said at the core of this plan is a real passion and purpose to work towards ensuring our organisation’s workplace, centres and services are inclusive and culturally safe environments.

“We hope to be a safe place where First Nations peoples can see their traditions, lore and culture not only respected but embraced throughout our organisational practices and services,” Tahni said.

Mates4Mates Chief Executive Officer, Emma Whitehead said it is in the spirit of acknowledging past injustices and supporting reconciliation in Australia that Mates4Mates commit to implementing this Reconciliation Action Plan.

"We acknowledge the significant contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans have made to the Australian Defence Force and we recognise their service and commitment," she said.

“At Mates4Mates, we want to ensure that our staff are trained and aware of the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans, and that our organisation is active in respecting traditions and playing a positive role in reconciliation.”

The artwork featured in the Mates4Mates Reflect RAP was created by ‘Art By Woodulngul’ artist, Shakira Kitching. Shakira is a proud Andajan Kija, Bardi, Gurindji and Larrakia woman. This piece is titled ‘Healing’ and reflects the healing journey our heroes go on to reconnect with themselves and find peace again. 

While we acknowledge that reconciliation is an ongoing journey, we look forward to working directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Reconciliation Australia, our staff and clients, and the wider Defence community to implement the actions outlined in our Reflect RAP.

A digital copy of the Mates4Mates Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan can be found on our website here, with printed hard copies available within each Mates4Mates centre.

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