Rachael McPhail, a proud Gomeroi woman, who grew up on Dharawal Country in the Illawarra, and now enjoying life on beautiful Wiradjuri Country, has recently been appointed as Project Manager for our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The RAP is a framework that an organisation develops, to support reconciliation in action, become a culturally safe employer, and also provide a culturally responsive service to clients or customers.
The purpose of Rachael’s role will be to lead our RAP Working Group to finalise our maiden Reflect RAP for submission to Reconciliation Australia, meet the deliverables in the RAP, and work with Trust management to build our understanding of why and how we can embed an Indigenous perspective into all facets of our organisation. She will also be working on building connections with local Indigenous communities across all of our service areas, so that we can develop lasting relationships and ensure that we are providing culturally responsive services and supports.
One of Rachael’s passions outside of work is her campaign for the acknowledgement of traditional place names in addresses, and for the creation of a database of Countries and Nations that can be cross-referenced with a postcode, that will be created in consultation with Elders and community leaders. Australia Post have publicly endorsed their support for the campaign, and Google and Winyama are now on board as well.
Rachael and her family did not grow up knowing that were Gomeroi and this impacted on her connection to Country and culture. She started connecting with extended family members and listened to their experience of growing up as an Aboriginal person in Australia. In addition learning through her university studies inspired her to advocate for social justice for First Nations people. It is important to her to look at the systems in Australia and how they exclude or disadvantage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her research into these issues has led her to think of small changes she can make, and inspire others around her to make, that will hopefully combine to create big positive change.
Rachael’s ultimate goal is to show all Australians that reconciliation, and being inclusive of First Nations peoples, is not scary or hard. Whilst it does take some work, if you listen deeply with an open heart and an open mind, you will be inspired to see that there are so many small things that we could all do, that would make a huge difference for First Nations people.
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