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JCDecaux’s CEO Steve O’Connor: ‘Our RAP plan is more than just ticking a box’

Australian out-of-home (OOH) media company JCDecaux said today Reconciliation Australia has formally endorsed the company’s first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), seeing JCDecaux take its first step in cementing its commitment to meaningful reconciliation efforts in Australia. 

JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand CEO, Steve O’Connor, told Mumbrella: “JCDecaux’s purpose is to connect brands with communities across our network through Australia, we acknowledge our work is on lands that Australia’s First Nations peoples have been living on for millennia.

“We began our RAP journey 12 months ago to formalise our commitment to reconciliation in Australia and set the foundation for our diversity and inclusion strategy. We are thrilled to receive accreditation from Reconciliation Australia and look forward to the next phase of our journey which will see us take practical actions within our organisation as well as with our industry, to help advance meaningful reconciliation.”

He added: “At JCDecaux we really do think it’s important for us to do our bit, in improving efforts to reconcile with the indigenous Australians. We employed the services of an indigenous company, called Cox Inall Ridgeway to help us develop our RAP. We were already doing early stages of our RAP, such as acknowledgement to country, having indigenous imagery around the office, and we have held some indigenous charity events. So we already had commenced the journey but through the RAP formalised that.”

O’Connor as executive sponsor alongside members of the JCDecaux RAP employee committee, will champion several targeted initiatives focused on education, diversity and engagement with employees, partners, and the industry, as well as by leveraging JCDecaux’s nationwide out-of-home network to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives. 

In a movement that O’Connor would ensure the company wasn’t just ticking a box, he said: “The way we went about that is that through our employee engagement surveys we took a temperature of the topic, and we found that there was a high level of interest.

“Then, what we did was form quite a broad committee, so we have representation from finance, commercial, sales etc. on the committee, and I’m the executive sponsor of it, but, the passion was really driven from the ground up, not me saying this is what we are going to do. We instead discussed what we were going to do together, and how we were going to go about it, and that’s how we made sure it was authentic and it represented the views of the broader business.”

As part of JCDecaux’s inaugural RAP, 17-year-old contemporary Indigenous artist Brooke Sutton from the Kalkadoon people from the Mount Isa area in Queensland, was commissioned to create a bespoke piece of art to reflect JCDecaux’s story.

In Brooke’s piece she weaves in the story of the history of JCDecaux starting in France in 1964 through to the present day, with art symbolising people at the heart of the business and JCDecaux’s purpose of connecting brands with communities enriching urban life.

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