Our vision for reconciliation

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal's (AAT) vision for reconciliation is to promote inclusiveness and diversity through the implementation of a range of practical actions. The AAT aims to better attract and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees through actively supporting professional growth and development, and through more inclusive practices and activities. The AAT will focus on building more opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users during merits review.


Our business

The AAT provides independent merits review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government, some non-government bodies and Administration of Norfolk Island.

The AAT aims to provide fair, impartial, high quality and prompt review with as little formality and technicality as possible. Individuals and government agencies and their representatives access the AAT's services.


Our reconciliation journey

The AAT's initial Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was prepared in 2007 through consultation and input from AAT members and staff.

In 2011, the Tribunal established an Indigenous Access Working Group (IAWG), in line with recommendations of the Tribunal's Workplace Diversity Committee. The IAWG continues to develop initiatives at national and local registry levels to improve access to the Tribunal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The IAWG has a key role to ensure we are aware of protocols in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people using the Tribunal, and we provide an appropriate environment. The IAWG has contributed directly to preparation of the new RAP, along with AAT members and staff.

The 2014-2017 RAP links directly to the Tribunal's key strategic goals and priorities, particularly in the context of effective communication and feedback from key users; professional development of our workforce; and engagement with users and potential users of Tribunal services.

The RAP directly supports the AAT in creating an environment where different perspectives are recognised and respected, opportunities to develop relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples both within and outside the agency, deepening the cultural diversity of our workforce, and providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees with worthy opportunities to be involved across the spectrum of our service activities. The RAP includes actions that have specific timelines and measurable targets which will be reported on each year.

1. Respect

Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is important to us because it strengthens effective working relationships, leads to higher quality of results, and underpins our commitment to equity and fairness for all Australians.

Focus: An environment where different perspectives are recognised and respected.

Item Action Responsibility Timeline Measurable Target

1.1

Deliver cultural awareness/appreciation training to employees to provide

  • training to all employees, managers and members who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
  • a self-paced cultural awareness module on the Tribunal's intranet

Learning and Development Manager,
District Registrars, Executive Director Operations,
Indigenous Access Working Group Chair

Continuing

Majority of employees have undertaken one hour of training by 2016

1.2

Incorporate the Tribunal's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) as part of our Induction program

Director Human Resources,
District Registrars and Managers

By July 2014

RAP incorporated into induction program

All new employees receive the RAP during induction

1.3

Engage employees in understanding protocols around acknowledgement of county and welcome to country ceremonies to ensure there is shared meaning behind the ceremonies

Executive,
Indigenous Access Working Group

Ongoing

Guide developed and published within the Tribunal

Information incorporated into information packs for major events planning

1.4

Provide opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities:

  • all registries participate in annual NAIDOC Week celebrations
  • encourage registries to host local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers to share their knowledge with employees annually

Indigenous Access Working Group,
District Registrars and Managers,
Workplace Diversity Committee

Ongoing

NAIDOC Week event takes place in each site annually

Events recorded and reported to Indigenous Access Working Group

1.5

Reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the Tribunal's premises through appropriate labelling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art when incorporated into office refurbishments

District Registrars,
Chief Financial Officer,
Registrar

Annually

Indigenous artwork recorded and appropriately labelled when purchased or leased.

2. Relationships

Respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are important to us because effective relationships increase the quality of our service delivery and can assist in the achievement of better outcomes for parties and stakeholders.

Focus: Creating opportunities to develop relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples both within and outside the Tribunal.

Item Action Responsibility Timeline Measurable Target

2.1

Assign responsibilities for the RAP:

  • Workplace Diversity Committee to be responsible for the integration of reconciliation at AAT sites, and to monitor and promote the RAP;
  • Indigenous Access Working Group to be responsible for promotion of initiatives focused on increased access of indigenous parties to the AAT and support in the merits review process

Executive Director Operations,
Workplace Diversity Committee
Indigenous Access Working Group

Continuing

RAP is standing agenda item for both the Workplace Diversity Committee and the Indigenous Access Working Group

2.2

Gather information on the experiences and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in User Satisfaction Survey to better improve our services

Executive Director Information and Development

Next User Satisfaction Survey

A report provided to the Executive Committee and information contained within User Satisfaction Survey

2.3

Explore options to identify the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients accessing the AAT and to encourage parties to identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Executive Director Information and Development

By December 2014

A report with recommendations provided to the Executive Committee

2.4

Engage with established local Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander representative forums to consult on Tribunal access and service delivery

Executive Director Information and Development,
Indigenous Access Working Group,
District Registrars

Annually

A report with recommendations provided to the Executive Committee

3. Opportunities

Creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is important to us because it promotes reconciliation, deepens our commitment to the cultural diversity of our workforce and improves service delivery.

Focus: Employment, retention and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and students.

Item Action Responsibility Timeline Measurable Target

3.1

Review Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment figures

Executive Committee,
Director Human Resources

Annually

People performance measures report tabled at meetings

Record numbers in RAP report

3.2

Promote appropriate advertising of positions:

  • all Job advertisements written in plain language
  • for appropriate positions, advertisements placed in Indigenous media (such as the Koori Mail and the National Indigenous Times)

Director Human Resources,
District Registrars

By June 2014

Job advertisement writing tool developed and made available to District Registrars and Managers

Annually Report provided to Executive Committee when Indigenous media is used

3.3

Annually examine opportunities to take part in appropriate APS administered programs for:

  • indigenous employment (such as traineeships and graduate programs)
  • inter-agency development (such as secondment and community leadership opportunities)

Executive Committee,
Director Human Resources

Annually in December

A report provided to the Executive Committee

Record numbers in RAP report

3.4

District Registrars and Managers to regularly discuss with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees opportunities in line with their career aspirations and the needs of the agency, for example job rotation and mentoring

District Registrars and Managers,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees

Bi-annually in December and June in line with Performance Management cycle

District Registrars and Managers to report to Director Human Resources

Record numbers in RAP report

3.5

Support student placements and internships in district and principal registries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students

Learning and Development Manager, in consultation with District Registrars

Ongoing

Record numbers in RAP report

4. Tracking progress and reporting

Item Action Responsibility Timeline Measurable Target

4.1

Report progress to the Executive

Workplace Diversity Committee
Indigenous Access Working Group

Annually

Report details achievements and milestones

4.2

Report to the National Consultative Committee

Workplace Diversity Committee

Annually

Report details achievements and milestones

4.3

Report progress in the AAT Annual Report

Workplace Diversity Committee,
Indigenous Access Working Group

Annually

Annual Report includes examples of completed actions

4.4

Report and refresh RAP in consultation with Reconciliation Australia

Workplace Diversity Committee

Annually

Report prepared and RAP refreshed on time