Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-18

Download the Stretch Reconciliation Plan 2015-18 (PDF 997.2 KB)

Acknowledgement

State Library of Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners across Queensland and pays respects to their ancestors who came before them and to Elders past, present and future.

Foreword from the State Librarian and CEO

I am pleased to present State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) third Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) where we build on our commitment to reconciliation through the framework of stronger relationships, increasing greater mutual respect and awareness, and continuing to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To achieve this, we will extend and develop our key services specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in consultation for this next stage of our reconciliation journey.

I am particularly proud of kuril dhagun, which is an initiative of State Library of Queensland designed specifically to inspire audience participation. kuril dhagun has been a showcase of Queensland’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures since 2006. kuril dhagun at SLQ promotes and celebrates Queensland’s First Australian peoples, cultures, histories and stories. It is a gathering place for all people to engage, share, listen and learn through an ongoing public program of events, activities and exhibitions.

Our black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing project is a national project and the first of its kind in Australia. It was developed to foster a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing community. The black&write! initiative, launched by author Boori Monty Pryor and actor Ernie Dingo at the 2010 Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, has continued to grow in influence and reputation. SLQ also works collaboratively with local governments by advocating for improved library services and supporting collections and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in public libraries throughout Queensland.

Finally, SLQ partners with 20 Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) in remote and regional communities across Far North Queensland, the Torres Strait Islands and South East Queensland. IKCs are a particular type of public library; they are communal hubs that combine traditional library services with a keeping place for recording, accessing and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Queensland. IKCs are owned, managed and staffed by local Aboriginal Councils and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council. State Library funds and facilitates the establishment of each IKC and provides ongoing support through staff training and delivery of programs to promote literacy, build community networks, and keep culture strong.

Our responsibility for the documentary heritage of Queensland includes collecting and sharing the oral traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which all tell the story of Queensland to support reconciliation.

Janette Wright
CEO and State Librarian, State Library of Queensland

Foreword from Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation Australia congratulates State Library of Queensland on their third Reconciliation Action Plan which demonstrates their ongoing commitment to reconciliation across Queensland. It is important that arts and cultural institutions like SLQ demonstrate their commitment to the RAP program, by embedding tested and proven actions into organisational culture and by fostering existing and new partnerships across the public library network.

The actions stated in this document will allow SLQ to achieve their purpose — inspiring Queensland’s creativity forever — and are aligned with SLQ’s enduring values. It is encouraging to read stories from SLQ staff about the importance of the RAP program and what it means to them. We particularly commend SLQ on their ongoing commitment to Indigenous Knowledge Centre support and development; to the kuril dhagun annual program of events and exhibitions celebrating Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories; as well as the recent
announcement of two Indigenous editing scholarships through black&write! which will continue to change the landscape of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing in Australia.

On behalf of the team at Reconciliation Australia I wish you every success as you undertake the next steps in your RAP journey.

Justin Mohamed
CEO, Reconciliation Australia

Our vision for reconciliation

State Library of Queensland creatively shares and promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge and cultures as integral to Queensland’s identity.

Our core business

SLQ is a vibrant and innovative 21st century library. It is an inclusive and welcoming place for all, a trusted source of
information, a place for intellectual freedom and creativity, and the primary custodian of Queensland’s memory. As a physical and virtual place/space for sharing, learning, collaborating and creating, State Library meets its legislative responsibility of contributing to the cultural, social and intellectual development of all Queenslanders.

SLQ currently employs 307 staff, 16 of whom are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees.

Our key services include:

  • advocacy for public library services for all Queenslanders
  • public library development including grants, administration and management
  • collection services and professional development
  • promoting research and understanding of our unique Queensland history through the John Oxley Library
  • capturing and documenting the story of Queensland for current and future generations
  • managing the life cycle for the State collection assets valued in excess of $101 million, including acquisition, description, preservation, access and discovery
  • onsite and online visitor and information services including information/research services, venue hire, cafe, and bookshop
  • creative and culturally engaged programs with children, youth, family, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
    and culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • centres of engagement with children and young people (The Corner); Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (kuril dhagun and Indigenous Knowledge Centres); arts, science, technology and enterprise (The Edge); and design (Asia Pacific Design Library).

Queensland public libraries offer a vast range of resources, programs and activities that promote community engagement and inclusion by bringing people together and facilitating positive social and learning experiences.

Our RAP

SLQ is committed to building positive relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community. Our commitment to reconciliation was initially formalised in the development of SLQ’s Reconciliation Strategy in 2006. SLQ joined the RAP program to partner in the development of our inaugural RAP in 2012 and again participated in the RAP program in 2013–14, continuing our pledge to build strong, positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups, communities and organisations throughout Queensland.

This multi-year Stretch RAP was developed to embed actions towards reconciliation in our organisational culture and advance our objectives. It provides an opportunity for exploring a framework for our future. Some key lessons from our RAP journey to date include learning of strong staff interest in and demand for cultural awareness training, with over 82% of staff participating in 2013–14. SLQ has also recognised the importance of having measurable targets against RAP actions, which assist in reflecting on past RAP achievements and in planning meaningful new activity.

One example of a RAP related initiative at SLQ is the Indigenous Leadership Grant. In 2013 Des Crump, SLQ’s Indigenous Languages Coordinator and inaugural Indigenous Leadership Grant recipient, spent two weeks at collecting institutions State Library of New South Wales and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) conducting research. The focus of the week spent at AIATSIS was identifying and analysing items in the collections that included Queensland Indigenous languages content, with a focus on primary source materials such as manuscripts and historical documents. Most of this linguistic content has been deposited at AIATSIS by linguists, anthropologists, academics and other researchers.

Des said of this opportunity:

The research activity as well as the professional networking has enabled me to play a more active role in State Library’s distributed collection approach and investigate models for linking collecting institutions and their Queensland Indigenous language materials to State Library. Outcomes will also inform strategies to facilitate increased community access to materials relating to Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Some of the achievements from the 2013–14 Stretch RAP include:

  • Our Dreaming: animating country program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events and exhibitions delivered
    (December 2013 to June 2014) including Land, Sea and Sky children’s programming delivered in The Corner.
  • black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships
    • Developed three works, with all published by Magabala Books
    • First digital publication, Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia, an anthology of new short fiction by established and emerging writers
    • Australia Council funding to support two new Indigenous Editing Interns.
  • Transforming Tindale exhibition visited Cairns City Library, with over 60,000 visits.
  • Funding partnership established with Department of Education Training and Employment to deliver Language to
    Literacy with Margaret James and Read4Life in Far North Queensland.
  • First World War information/resource guide for IKCs developed with participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as online via SLQ website.
  • WW1 Centenary blog includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander posts to raise awareness in broader community.
  • Languages Research Discovery Workshop attended by IKC Coordinators from New Mapoon, Seisia and Umagico.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection materials continue to be developed, including original and published materials and archiving of websites.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages new media project to be delivered in 2014 with contribution of $50,000 from Australian Government Ministry for the Arts.

Reports on our previous RAP outcomes are available on the SLQ website.

In our 2015–18 Stretch RAP we continue this work and will challenge ourselves by increasing opportunities for businesses owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the supply of goods and services to SLQ, by building on our storytelling and language resources and activities, and ensuring information and the impact of our initiatives are shared widely such as through the Indigenous voices blog.

A key SLQ initiative that links to the 2015–18 RAP is SLQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy
2012–16 which outlines SLQ’s commitment to leading and facilitating sustainable employment, training, retention and career development pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As with the development of our previous RAPs, we have consulted widely with staff, the Indigenous Advisory Group to the Board (IAG) and the RAP Working Group (comprising staff  across SLQ). The IAG provides strategic advice to the Library Board of Queensland and SLQ on a number of projects and  supports the achievement of a guiding principle in the Libraries  Act 1988 that affirms respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

In reporting on our previous RAPs, each work team was invited to share in their own words how they had progressed in relation to their set targets and report on any lessons learnt. It is the role of the SLQ RAP Working Group to advocate for reconciliation and guide the development, delivery, implementation and annual review of State Library of Queensland’s RAP. The objectives of the SLQ RAP Working Group include:

  • Ensure State Library’s formal commitment to develop a RAP is achieved
  • Ensure State Library meets all requirements stipulated by Reconciliation Australia
  • Ensure shared ownership across all levels of State Library
  • Guide the effective implementation of State Library’s RAP
  • Annually review and update the RAP
  • Promote reconciliation and the appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to State Library staff by encouraging their participation in key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander calendar events.

The SLQ RAP Working Group consists of 12 staff including two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander staff, one of whom is the chair. All divisions across the organisation are represented, including Office of the State Librarian, Content Development, Corporate Services, Regional Access and Public Libraries, and Engagement and Partnerships. The SLQ CEO will champion the Stretch RAP across the organisation and throughout SLQ’s networks.

The IAG is made up of 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including Associate Professor, Dr Grace Sarra (IAG Chair), Geraldine Carter, Joann Schmider, Angela Ruska, Kerry Charlton, Tracey Pickwick, Janeese Henaway, Mabelene Whap, Ron Weatherall, Getano Bann and Jackie Huggins, plus SLQ’s CEO and State Librarian Janette Wright.

Relationships

State Library believes in fostering a productive, trusting and sustainable relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, SLQ staff and the broader Australian community.

Focus area: Engage community

ActionResponsibilityTimelineTarget
1.1 SLQ RAP Working Group
continues to actively monitor RAP development, including
implementation of actions and tracking progress.
Director, Regional Access and Public Libraries Mar, Jun, Sep and Dec 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Commit to four RAP Working Group meetings per year to discuss implementing the RAP.
  • Report to SLQ IAG each year to seek strategic advice on implementation of the RAP.
1.2 SLQ IAG continues to provide advice to the Library Board of Queensland on policy and
strategic issues concerning
library and information service provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
CEO and State Librarian Oct  2015, 2016 and 2017
  • IAG will meet once per year to provide strategic advice and
    guidance of the development, delivery, implementation and
    review of SLQ’s RAP.
1.3 SLQ to participate in and support National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and other events/celebrations promoting stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. Director, Regional Access and Public Libraries 27 May - 3 Jun 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Commit to two internal NRW events (Brisbane and Cairns) per year.
  • All staff are encouraged to participate in at least one
    community NRW event.
  • Develop a list of significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait
    Islander days/events and communicate to employees
    online though the SLQ Welcome Toolkit.
Executive Manager, Communications  
  • Publish NRW dates on the public website each year and promote on the SLQ staff intranet.
Director,
Corporate Services
 
  • Encourage SLQ employees to celebrate and participate in other significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander days and events.
All cost centre
managers
 
  • Utilise SLQ’s sphere of influence to engage, encourage
    and promote NRW to the wider community.
Director, Engagement and Partnerships  
  • Register SLQ NRW events on the Reconciliation Australia website.
1.4 SLQ will continue to leverage existing and establish new relationships with external
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and stakeholders.
Director, Content Development Dec 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Identify and engage with regional Aboriginal and Torres
    Strait Islander communities, building capacity for
    individuals and organisations to contribute their collections
    and stories.
Dec 2015, 2016 and
2017
  • Organise at least two sessions per year with Aboriginal
    and Torres Strait Islander communities for individuals and
    organisations to contribute their collections and stories.
Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries 
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Continue to participate in at least two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander forums, workshops or seminars per year.
Dec 2015,
2016 and 2017
  • Promote and encourage public library networks to
    participate in the ‘Reading for Reconciliation’ initiative.
Director,
Engagement
and Partnerships
Dec 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Continue to co-create, support and collaborate with
    community and partners to build connections; to extend
    provision of and access to library services; and enable creating, sharing and preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage, knowledge, ideas and experiences.
1.5 Continue to strengthen and support building stronger relationships between
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and other staff within SLQ.
Director, Regional Access and Public Libraries Dec 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Continue to engage current Aboriginal and Torres Strait
    Islander employees for input/advice in SLQ projects and initiatives.
Apr 2015,
then ongoing
to Dec 2017 
  • Encourage all staff to view the SLQ RAP by providing
    a soft copy on intranet and public website, and
    communicate through team meetings.
1.6 Develop and tailor specific models of engagement for, with and by Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and stakeholders. 
Director,
Engagement
and Partnerships 
Jun 2015,
Jun 2016,
Jun 2017 
  • Develop and deliver a range of programs and initiatives for
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities via SLQ’s
    specialist program areas.
Executive Manager, Communications Bimonthly to
Dec 2017
  • Promote programs and initiatives to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and stakeholders via SLQ communication tools, including Indigenous voices
    enews and What’s on guide.
1.7 Partner with local government
to advocate for and support
the development and sustainability of public libraries, including the IKCs. 
Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries 
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017 
  • Work with cross sector partners to implement the Next Horizon: VISION 2017 for Queensland public libraries, including the guiding principle of upholding civic values of access, diversity, equity and a culture of inclusion.
1.8 Continue to assist in inspiring
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples’ passion to read,
write, learn and share ideas. 
Director,
Engagement
and Partnerships 
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017 
  • Facilitate the extended capacity of Queensland’s writing sector via advocacy, programming and partnerships, including through the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing program.
1.9 Extend the reach of SLQ
services through onsite, online and offsite offers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 
Director,
Engagement
and Partnerships 
Ongoing to
Dec 2017 
  • Assist in developing skills to access information and content through learning programs and projects.

Respect

State Library ensures all our people, services and programs are respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples’ cultures, traditions and achievements. We create an organisational culture that is welcoming, inclusive
and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Focus area: Build capability

ActionResponsibilityTimelineTarget
2.1 Engage SLQ staff in cultural learning to increase
understanding and
appreciation of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander
peoples, histories, cultures
and achievements.
Director,
Corporate Services
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • SLQ commits to 100% of staff members (345 people)1 participating in cultural awareness training.
  • Commit to 100% of new staff accessing and participating in cultural awareness training annually.
  • Investigate the opportunity for staff with a high level of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander
    peoples to participate in cultural capability training and,
    where possible, cultural immersion experiences (such as
    Garma, Laura Festival, Mirrabooka and Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre tours).
2.2 Continue to
encourage SLQ staff
to use established
cultural protocols for
Acknowledgement of
Country and Welcome
to Country.
Executive Manager,
Communications
Ongoing to
Dec 2017
  • Review, and communicate an updated list of key contacts for organising a Welcome to Country from a local Traditional Owner.
  • Ensure an Acknowledgement of Country is provided at
    the commencement of all SLQ community events.
  • Continue to ensure all significant community events include Welcome to Country by a Traditional Owner.
  • Ensure protocol encourages senior SLQ leaders to
    personally reply to a Welcome to Country.
  • Communicate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    cultural protocols to SLQ staff via intranet and ensure
    that the significance of the protocols is understood and
    followed by staff.
2.3 SLQ to celebrate NAIDOC
Week and support
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander staff in engaging
with their cultures and
communities through
NAIDOC Week activities.
Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries
1st Sun –
2nd Sun Jul
2015, 2016
and 2017
  • Commit to engage with local NAIDOC Week committee,
    and support all staff to participate in NAIDOC Week events in the local community in two NAIDOC Week activities (Brisbane and Cairns) per year.
  • Organise at least one internal event at South Brisbane SLQ each year to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
2.4 Collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to develop, collect, share
and create Queensland content (stories, knowledge and culture) for current and future generations.
Director,
Content Development
Dec 2015, 2016 and
2017
  • Increase community engagement and collaborative approaches to collecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.
  • Investigate establishing an official partnership with AIATSIS in collaborating to strengthen the collection and sharing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures and stories.
  • Develop and implement a plan to increase ways of giving voice to the untold and personal stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders connected to the State Government’s legacy project Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation.
2.5 Continue to ensure the
longevity of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander
content by growing capacity in research, curation, preservation
and discovery.
Director,
Content Development
Dec 2017
  • Ensure collection of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queensland content through proactive ‘born digital’ activities and promoting legal deposit.
2.6 Continue to make visible
the diverse knowledge, stories, culture and creative outputs from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples around the state. 
Director,
Content Development
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Update SLQ’s Indigenous Languages Strategy and
    implementation plan

Opportunities

State Library understands that it is important to develop culturally appropriate opportunities in services, programs
and policies that meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Queensland.

Focus area: Enable access

ActionResponsibilityTimelineTarget
3.1 Increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
across SLQ.
Director,
Corporate Services
Dec 2017
  • Commit to increasing representation within SLQ from current
    4.64%2 (16 people) to 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees (17 people) in 2016–17.
   Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Continue to implement and review the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy to increase professional
    development opportunities for existing SLQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
3.2 Increase opportunities
for businesses owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in supplying their goods and services to SLQ.
Director,
Corporate Services
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Commit to an annual procurement target for the use of two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
  All cost centre managers Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Continue to build procurement options through consulting Black
    Business Finder, Queensland’s database of Aboriginal and Torres Islander businesses.
3.3 Increase diversity and equity of services, including through family literacy
initiatives.
Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries
Dec 2015,
2016 and
2017
  • Develop and implement a plan to identify and address barriers to access including print and digital literacy issues; cultural, language
    and social barriers; and geographic and technological barriers.

Tracking progress and reporting

ActionResponsibilityTimelineTarget
4.1 Report achievements, challenges and learnings to Reconciliation Australia for inclusion in the RAP Impact
Measurement Report.
Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries
Submit to
by 30 Sep
2015, 2016
and 2017
  • Complete and submit the RAP Impact Measurement
    Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia each year.
  • Publish an annual RAP Progress Report on the SLQ website.
4.2 Refresh SLQ RAP. Director,
Regional Access
and Public Libraries
Dec 2017
  • Refresh and update the SLQ RAP based on key learnings and achievements from previous RAPs and forward to
    Reconciliation Australia for review and endorsement.
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