A plan to attract and retain more Indigenous staff in Defence was released in Canberra today.
Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne formally launched the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-2018 during a ceremony at Russell Offices.
Minister Payne said the Reconciliation Action Plan set out Defence’s commitment to achieving reconciliation and contributing to the national efforts to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.
Minister Payne said the plan was developed in partnership with Reconciliation Australia and involved extensive consultation.
“This is Defence’s third Reconciliation Action Plan and it builds on the progress Defence has made over a number of years, while acknowledging there is still work to be done,” Minister Payne said.
“Reconciliation in Defence is everyone’s business.’’
The key actions outlined in the plan reflect the three Reconciliation Australia themes to improve relationships, show respect and increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Minister Payne said the Reconciliation Action Plan would increase opportunities to make positive cultural change within Defence.
“The plan will guide us in our efforts to attract and retain more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members,” she said.
As a sign of respect for Defence's Indigenous heritage, the main theatrette in Russell Offices was named The Ngunnawal Theatrette after the local Aboriginal community.
A short video telling the real stories of current Indigenous Defence personnel was also shown, highlighting the organisation's commitment to improving opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
For more information visit http://www.defence.gov.au/Diversity/Indigenous/
Imagery from today's ceremony will be available through the Defence Image Gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152913
Henry Budd (Senator Payne's office) 0429 531 143
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999