I am pleased to report that our Reconciliation Action Plan has now been submitted for review by Reconciliation Australia, and once approved will be published.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation. Back in 2019 we established a Working Group consisting of Cycle 3 & 4 students, staff, parents and leadership. We developed our RAP using the Narragunnawali website. The Working Group undertook a Reflection Survey which determined the current state of reconciliation in our school. We also developed a vision statement communicating our school’s commitment to reconciliation.
There are 40 RAP Actions to select from on the Narragunnawali website, including 14 that are a minimum requirement and need to be included within our school’s RAP. Our Working Group also documented RAP action-aligned goals and deliverables.
Now that the RAP has been submitted it is important that it becomes a ‘living, dynamic document’ and we ‘walk the talk’ and work towards achieving the included actions. We have established a ‘Cultural Understanding committee’ which is made up of staff members to ensure we stay on track and are indeed working towards our vision and stated actions.
However, our RAP and the process of reconciliation does not just sit with one person or a committee, it is the responsibility of all of us to play our part to recognise and respect the First Peoples of this land, to acknowledge the past injustices, and the ongoing inequalities, experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since colonisation, and to commit to working towards a more equal and respectful future.
I would like to thank the Working Group for their input throughout the RAP process and particular thanks to Nat Costello (Cycle 3 teacher) and Tim Moore (Cycle 4 teacher) for their leadership. Also, a big thank you to Uncle Ivan Copely (Peramangk elder) who met with the Working Group and provided advice and input into our Vision and Acknowledgement of Country.
We are proud of our school’s Vision statement that the Working Group developed.
The Hills Montessori School's Reconciliation Vision
For The Hills Montessori School, reconciliation means listening, recognising, acknowledging, speaking and acting.
Reconciliation means listening to the stories of Aboriginal peoples, particularly Peramangk and Kaurna in the past, the present and the future, valuing Aboriginal voices and connecting with their experiences.
Reconciliation means recognising and acknowledging what has happened in the past and the ways that this shapes the present and the future for Aboriginal peoples and non Aboriginal people in Australia.
Reconciliation means speaking out what needs to be spoken to acknowledge the enduring history, culture, experience, knowledge, wisdom and sovereignty of Aboriginal peoples.
Reconciliation means acting on what we hear, what we recognise and what we say, to move forward with Aboriginal peoples toward healing and unity.