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Reconciliation Action Plan

Our vision for reconciliation

Achieving reconciliation requires an ongoing commitment to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on equality and mutual respect

In previous Reconciliation Action Plans Fire & Rescue NSW have made significant contributions to Aboriginal communities in the areas of:

  • enhancing community safety
  • increasing Aboriginal communities’ preparedness for and resilience to hazards, emergencies, disasters
  • protect sites and places of cultural significance.
  • supporting career opportunities and procurement arrangements within FRNSW, in line with government procurement policy

FRNSW maintains recognition of Aboriginal people as the first peoples of Australia with the oldest living, continuing connections to culture, lands and seas. We also acknowledge the disadvantage faced by Aboriginal people today across almost every aspect of life.

It is everyone’s responsibility to seek an understanding of Aboriginal culture and communities across NSW and; through our changing diverse workforce we can proactively adapt our service delivery to better engage and support these communities.

Our business

FRNSW’s purpose is to enhance community safety, quality of life and confidence by minimising the impact of hazards and emergency incidents on the people, environment and economy of NSW. As one of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services, FRNSW manages fire emergencies in the major cities and towns of NSW. We respond to rescues, hazardous material incidents and possible terrorist activities across the State. We work with other government agencies to minimise the impact of bushfires, storms, floods, landslides, building collapses, motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies. We also run prevention and preparedness programs to prevent these emergencies and reduce their impact on the community.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

The FRNSW Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), establishes a foundation of inclusiveness for Aboriginal  people by assisting FRNSW to strengthen community engagement with Aboriginal Communities.

This RAP is designed to enhance relationships with Aboriginal communities, and support the development of a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve..

FRNSW recognises that it is our responsibility through education and training, to best prepare all our staff to engage respectfully with Aboriginal communities.

FRNSW recognises and values the significant contribution that Aboriginal staff make within this organisation, and in Aboriginal communities across NSW. By understanding and respecting local Aboriginal history and knowledge, it enables us to provide a more valued service to those communities.

To ensure we meet our objectives, a RAP Advisory Committee will be established within FRNSW, and will be comprised of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff and representatives who will meet quarterly to oversee the delivery and implementation of the actions which have been identified and report back to FRNSW.

The FRNSW RAP is also underpinned by the principles of the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Framework, and supports the implementation of the Aboriginal Pathways Strategy 2017-2020. These action plans will work together  to support Aboriginal staff, attract quality Aboriginal applicants to our organisation.

We will integrate this RAP into our core business and provide support and governance to successfully deliver outcomes. This RAP will encourage greater local ownership of the initiatives and actions outlined in the plan, with an emphasis on building strong relationships through shared experiences.

This RAP will continue to target four key areas:

  1. Relationships
  2. Respect
  3. Opportunities
  4. Tracking and reporting

Planned actions

1. Relationships

It is essential to build and strengthen our relationships with Aboriginal Communities to provide effective quality service across NSW,. FRNSW continues to take on this responsibility with the belief in the importance of having a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and communities. This shared responsibility between FRNSW and Aboriginal community groups, will assist us in creating safer and better prepared communities.

Focus areas

  Action Responsibility Measurable Target
1.1 Establish a Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee to continue to oversee, guide and support the delivery of RAP actions and progress Executive Directors of People & Culture and Community Safety The delivery of initiatives and programs designed and delivered to meet the actions   Bi-annual meetings with Exec Dir P&C   Quarterly meeting of a RAP committee
1.2 FRNSW Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation, to be displayed in all FRNSW workplaces Office of the Commissioner Instigate the display the Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation in all FRNSW workplace
1.3 Develop and implement strategies to actively encourage Aboriginal participation in the Community Cultural Diversity Coordinator Community Safety Coordinator Use established Aboriginal FRNSW staff encourage Aboriginal participation in the Community Fire Unit (CFU) Program Local Station Officers and Captains to engage with LALC’s and other agencies in partnership Aboriginal Communities
1.4 Continue to develop and implement strategies to increase awareness of fire prevention and safety in partnership with Aboriginal communities Community Safety Coordinator Implement community safety campaign for Aboriginal communities by increasing in the number of Aboriginal homes with functional smoke alarms installed
1.5 Develop culturally appropriate resources for Aboriginal communities targeting safety information, education and recruitment Directors of Community Safety and People & Culture Culturally appropriate fire safety information, promotional materials and resources developed and distributed across FRNSW
1.6 Aboriginal Diversity Officer to play a key role in of cultural awareness training across FRNSW Director of People & Culture Shared information through cross cultural projects, engagement and events

2. Respect

Culturally appropriate practices and protocols are significant to FRNSW Aboriginal staff and Aboriginal communities. Understanding the importance of these connections to culture and values, will strengthen our cultural competency and relationships with Aboriginal communities.

Focus area

To increase FRNSW employees’ awareness of Aboriginal cultures, through a shared responsibility and lived experiences, providing a better individual and Agency understanding of both historical and contemporary perspectives of Aboriginal people.

  Action Responsibility Measurable Target
2.1 An “Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and Custodians” or “Welcome to Country” be practiced at all formal FRNSW events in recognition of Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which the event is held. Commissioner to direct all staff to implement Inclusion and Diversity Unit, and ATSIAC to monitor Review and update Welcome to Country Guidelines and The Working with Aboriginal People Protocol A standard item on all meeting agendas Local Elder or respected community member invited to provide a “Welcometo Country” at all formal events arranged through LALC
2.2 Update all Aboriginal related information and documents on intranet and encourage staff to access links and sites on the FRNSW intranet Internal Communications Diversity and Inclusion Unit All initiatives and programs delivered in Aboriginal communities are promoted and uploaded on intranet
2.3 Support and release Aboriginal employees to participate in NAIDOC Week events All Directors to implement FRNSW actively support the release of Aboriginal staff to participate in events of Aboriginal cultural and community significance
2.4 Acknowledge Reconciliation Week and other major events of cultural and community significance All Directors to implement FRNSW actively support staff to attend activities within their working community and their Home community

3. Opportunities

FRNSW recognises that Aboriginal people are an integral part of the communities we serve and add value to our organisation by having a more diverse creative workforce. This understanding also comes with the recognition of our social and ethical responsibilities as an Agency to improve accessibility of employment and to support the career aspirations of Aboriginal staff.

Focus area

To increase employment opportunities for and improve employment outcomes for Aboriginal people.

  Action Responsibility Measurable Target
3.1 Implement the Aboriginal Pathways Strategy 2017 - 2020 Commissioner Executive Leadership Team Exec Dir P&C Support all the initiatives identified in the Aboriginal Pathways’ Strategy 2017 - 2020
3.2 Continue to annually use the Fire And Rescue Employment Strategy (IFARES) recruitment-readiness program to remain as a centralised pathway for Aboriginal people into permanent Firefighter roles Commissioner Exec Dir P&C Inclusion and Diversity Unit Maintain numbers of candidates for IFARES annually The management of ongoing partnership with educational provider with supporting MOU
3.3 Support the development and retention of Aboriginal Staff through career advancement opportunities and policy and procedure development Commissioner and Executive Leadership Team Targeted Aboriginal staff of appropriate grading, prioritised for inclusion on leadership programs, cross training opportunities from operational to admin roles ATSIAC to provide culturally appropriate advice on policy development, and advocate for mentors for Indigenous staff

4. Tracking progress and reporting

There is immense value in having a reporting and tracking matrix which can share and showcase RAP success and achievements. Staff will have ability to report back on any obstacles that may prevent FRNSW from reaching RAP outcomes. This allows for The RAP Committee,  to monitor and provide appropriate guidance when needed to to achieve desired outcomes.

Focus area

  Action Responsibility Measurable Target
4.1 Develop a quarterly reporting template for completion by the areas responsible for actions in the RAP Community Safety Coordinator Progress reports on selected areas of the RAP to be tabled at each ELT annually
4.2 All areas of FRNSW with responsibilities detailed within this action plan will provide a quarterly update on progress to RAP Advisory Committee All Directors Progress reports submitted quarterly by all areas responsible for progress on actions detailed in the RAP to the RAP Advisory Committee
4.3 Successfully implemented outcomes of the RAP to be reported in the FRNSW Annual Report, NSW Government and quarterly in the Commissioners Corner Community Safety Coordinator RAP progress report included in FRNSW Annual Report annually Published quarterly on FRNSW intranet and available for distribution to each Zone