Three years after beginning its reconciliation journey, Sandvik Australia embraces the release of its new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.
Sandvik Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to working towards greater reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the release of their Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Unveiled at a COVID-safe ceremony at Sandvik’s Brisbane workshop, the new RAP clearly defines the key deliverables the company plans to take to achieve its reconciliation goals over the coming two years. It follows on from Sandvik’s first RAP (Reflect), which was launched three years ago and is part of an overall journey to acknowledge the history and contribution of First Nations peoples and further strengthen Sandvik’s relationship with them.
The launch ceremony commenced with a Welcome to Country by Shannon Ruska, a bloodline descendent of the Yuggera, Turrbal, Nunukul, Gorenpul/Cooperoo, and Yugembir nations. A smoking ceremony was also performed at the event, which is a traditional ritual where the burning of gum leaves provides the blessings for a new journey.
Speakers included Acting Managing Director Chris Parham, Sandvik Australia’s Community Engagement Officer Luana Sanders, and General Manager HR Allen Bellew, who detailed the key deliverables contained within the RAP.
Sandvik Australia Acting Managing Director Chris Parham says Sandvik’s first Reflect RAP prepared the organisation for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs. The Innovate RAP further encapsulates Sandvik’s commitment to the important process of reconciliation and will create sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, focusing on relationships, respect, and opportunities. He says:
“I’m extremely proud that Sandvik Australia is making progress on its reconciliation journey, as demonstrated by this plan for concrete action over the coming years. Our clear aim is to actively listen to, and work in partnership with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, businesses, and community members in the locations where we work. As part of Sandvik’s Sustainable Business goals for 2030, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, which is one of the many reasons I’m extremely honoured and proud to launch our Innovate RAP”.
The new framework, formally known as the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-2022, takes in the ‘Innovate’ step of the RAP process. While every business’ journey is different, companies typically progress from the ‘Reflect’ stage, through ‘Innovate’ and ‘Stretch’, and arrive finally at the ‘Elevate’ stage.
Sandvik’s Innovate RAP builds on the experience gained from implementing the Reflect RAP, which had already proven meaningful for employees, customers, suppliers and the community – providing the necessary exposure and knowledge to better guide the company on this important journey.
As part of Sandvik’s commitment to be a responsible business, the company has already undertaken numerous measures towards reconciliation through its Reflect RAP, such as educating employees on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, introducing the Acknowledgement to Country at all meetings and events, and supporting the Indigenous community.
The company also commissioned artist Riki Salam from We are 27 Creative to design a RAP artwork, titled ‘Creation Pathways’ which depicts the Sandvik journey represented by traditional elements of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This artwork is displayed at all Sandvik sites, was showcased on the William Jolly Bridge during Reconciliation Week, and features on a range of corporate clothing and customer gifts, offering the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s First Nations’ people.
Increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s employment
Mr Parham says Sandvik has released the action plan in the spirit of this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, ‘In This Together’. He says:
“Our new Innovate RAP contains almost 100 key deliverables across the three pillars of Respect, Relationships and Opportunities, that are ambitious and achievable. We are committed to increasing the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and have set a clear target by the end of the Innovate RAP. We also continue to increase our partnerships with Indigenous-owned businesses creating a richer supplier diversity.”
The development of the Innovate RAP was overseen by Sandvik’s Reconciliation Steering Committee who are represented by all levels of staff across the business, indigenous and non-indigenous.