Our reconciliation action plan
Our role in reconciliation
The ATO has an important role to play in supporting the financial wellbeing of Indigenous Australia. We aim to work with the community to make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know about our free help and support, in order to make informed decisions about tax and superannuation.
We are the principal revenue collection agency of the Australian Government. We administer major aspects of Australia's superannuation system and act as custodian of the Australian Business Register.
The ATO also works to make sure the community has confidence in Australia's tax and super systems. Our communication highlights the way that community participation in the tax and super systems helps to build Australia's social and economic infrastructure.
As a major employer in the Australian Public Service, the ATO can contribute directly to the economic participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by providing stable, secure employment opportunities. We are also aiming to increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to supply their goods and services to the ATO.
Our vision is to be a leading tax and super administration known for our contemporary service, expertise and integrity. One factor in achieving this vision is how we implement all our plans for the future, including our Reconciliation action plan (RAP). We recognise that our promises in this plan are best achieved through building purposeful and respectful relationships, and connecting with the community and other agencies, in meaningful ways. We want to work closely with the community, to benefit the community. This will mean investing in the right contemporary and tailored services to make participation in the tax and super system easier.
Our reconciliation journey
The ATO’s journey toward formally supporting reconciliation began with our first RAP in 2007, followed by our second in 2010. Over that time, we have increased:
- employment, career development and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- staff cultural awareness and education
- tailored tax and super information and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We aim to build on these successes and work to further increase the financial wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This RAP defines the actions we will take towards achieving better economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Between 2007 and 2011 we increased the ATO’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce from 0.6% to 0.7%. In 2012, we launched our Evergreen Indigenous pathways initiative. The Evergreen employment pathway strengthens our workforce by providing entry-level programs designed to build the core work skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people while giving them a career plan. The ATO will continue to work within Australian Public Service Commission guidelines to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed by the ATO over the life of this RAP.
During NAIDOC Week in 2013, the ATO launched an online cultural awareness package. All ATO employees are encouraged to complete it as part of their learning and development.
We continue to work across government and with the community to better understand the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This helps us as we continue to tailor our existing suite of free products and services for this audience. The suite currently includes the ATO Indigenous Helpline, ATO Indigenous Resource Centres and a range of basic tax and business information at ato.gov.au/indigenous
The ATO Indigenous Helpline allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to call about their Individual tax and super enquiries. It operates weekdays 8.30am to 4.45pm (Australian Central Standard Time) on 13 10 30.
The ATO Indigenous Resource Centres operate from our Alice Springs (NT), Darwin (NT), and Perth (WA) sites.
Our dedicated webpage ato.gov.au/indigenous has a range of basic information brochures tailored for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience on topics such as recordkeeping and business tax.