10 September 2021

Anniversary of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People

We would like to recognise the anniversary of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, adopted by the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly on 13 September 2007.  Here at TSA, we acknowledge the injustices of past policies and their continual impact on Indigenous communities around the world.

The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, establishing a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world, and elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of Indigenous Peoples.

We thought the significance of the anniversary was timely to update you on what we have done and are currently doing as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) commitment. For those who are unfamiliar a Reconciliation Action Plan is a strategic document endorsed by Reconciliation Australia that supports our business plan and includes practical actions that will drive our contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which we operate.

TSA’s vision for reconciliation is a future where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s cultures, knowledge and connection to land and waters is respected and upheld. TSA will leave a positive legacy for those who live in the communities we help create. This will be achieved by acknowledging, engaging and partnering with local Indigenous communities.

There are four categories of RAP’s as organisations progress through a phased approach of demonstrated commitment: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each of the four RAP types set out the minimum elements required from participating organisations to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within TSA, partnering organisations and the community.​

Our reconciliation journey commenced with our Reflect RAP, which received formal endorsement in July 2019. The plan provided TSA a roadmap to kickstart the program and laid the foundations for future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives. In May this year our Innovate RAP received endorsement from Reconciliation Australia, this sets the targets for the next two years as part of our ongoing journey.

Some key activities that have been completed include:

  • Partnered with Life for Koori Kids to host students for work experience.
  • Established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy to identify and implement initiatives to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment targets to 1.5% by 2026, and to inform professional development opportunities.
  • Developed an Indigenous Procurement Strategy to identify partnerships and business opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses. In response, TSA have engaged with the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, Head Contractors, Consultants and Local Aboriginal Land Councils to advance Reconciliation.
  • Partnered with the NSW Department of Education to participate in the Infrastructure Traineeship program which hosts trainees from a variety of diverse backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Commissioned an artwork by Jasmine Craciun which features in our Innovate RAP. The artwork “Growth” reflects TSA as a business, and their commitment to reconciliation.
  • Implemented numerous policies changes and initiatives to improve cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion across the business.

Our RAP Working Group now has 15 members who represent our offices across our Australian business, the group created the TSA RAP program and oversees its progress.

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