The Australian Press Council has launched a Reconciliation Action Plan to promote understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The Australian Press Council has launched its first-ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which documents the objectives and strategies that the organisation will employ over the next two years to promote understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The Chair of the Press Council, Professor David Weisbrot AM, other Council members, Indigenous community leaders and representatives of a range of other organisations celebrated the launch at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern, NSW.
The Press Council’s draft RAP was developed in 2016 and submitted to Reconciliation Australia for review, in accordance with established processes. It has now been endorsed and becomes an official Press Council policy document.
“Reconciliation Australia gave us very strong support throughout the process, working patiently with us as we developed a plan appropriate for an organisation like ours that operates in the media sphere.” Professor Weisbrot said.
“We could not have done this without their expertise and wisdom.”Our member publications tell Australia’s story, including both the hardships faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their successes, and this RAP is one way of ensuring that Indigenous people and perspectives are involved in shaping that narrative.
“The challenge now is to make sure that we implement these ambitious plans fully and effectively. We have already taken the first steps. We recently welcomed the Koori Mail as our first Indigenous member publication, we will announce shortly the name of our first Indigenous Council member and we are now sourcing goods and services from Indigenous suppliers.”
The CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Justin Mohamed, said: “Reconciliation Australia congratulates the Press Council on developing its first Reconciliation Action Plan. By adopting an Innovate RAP, they are demonstrating readiness to develop and test innovative approaches to reconciliation and champion reconciliation at every level of the organisation.
The Press Council is well placed to continue its progress across the key pillars of reconciliation—relationships, respect and opportunities.”The Press Council’s RAP commits the organisation to:
- encouraging membership by Indigenous newspapers, magazines and online news and current affairs sites;
- engaging and consulting with Indigenous groups, individuals and organisations regarding the Press Council’s work;
- promoting employment and internship opportunities for Indigenous people at the Press Council and among member publications;
- promoting Indigenous cultural competence among staff;
- considering the impact on Indigenous peoples of current and proposed Standards of Practice;
- encouraging the Australian news media to report issues of importance for Indigenous communities in a respectful way; and
- endeavouring to promote high quality reporting in relation to Indigenous peoples.
The Australian Press Council was established in 1976 and is responsible for promoting good standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest, and freedom of expression through the media. Press Council membership encompasses over 900 mastheads, accounting for approximately 95 per cent of newspaper, magazine and online readership in Australia.