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  • Reconciliation Action Plan – summary of achievements

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recognises that reconciliation is everyone's business. We value the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to this organisation – as employees, suppliers and clients.

    On the strengths of our proud achievements so far, the Reconciliation action plan 2018–2020 challenged us to continue on our reconciliation journey with a strong focus on unity and inclusion, making the tax system fair and accessible for everyone.

    The action plan provides information about our initiatives to support reconciliation. It also gives us the basis for reporting our successes and lessons learned to Reconciliation Australia.

    Outcomes and achievements

    Our outcomes and achievements are listed below.

    Improved services and offerings

    Our community education initiatives develop, support and provide services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. In collaboration with external partners, we deliver integrated strategies that engage, educate and inform – for example:

    • In the ATO's Indigenous business support project pilot, Reach Out, teams of Indigenous ATO staff delivered 9 education workshops in Queensland and Darwin and provided one-to-one support to 69 Indigenous small businesses. The teams participated in local events such as the Palm Island Indigenous Business Month.
    • We partnered with the First Nations Foundation (FNF) to attend several successful Big Super Day Out events. In July and August 2019, we participated in events in Darwin, Kununurra and Broome and 4 communities in East Arnhem lands.
    • More than 500 Indigenous people were reconnected with $9.545 million of their superannuation as a result of the initiative with FNF. We will continue to support these and similar events in future. While 2020 events were cancelled due to COVID-19, we provided support to FNF to develop a new Indigenous super online resource.
    • In 2019, the ATO Pop-up Office visited regional and remote locations identified as having a significant Indigenous population. In 2020, there were 26 Tax Help Centres with an Indigenous client base, of which 6 specifically support Indigenous clients. Radio broadcasts are delivered in identified Indigenous locations, and media releases detail the support we provide to Indigenous Australians throughout tax time.
    • We continue to work across government and with the community to better understand the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We continue to tailor our existing suite of products and services – including the Indigenous Hotline, which received 50,270 calls during 2019–20, an increase of 113% over the previous year.
    • A new ‘Starting an Indigenous small business’ educational product was launched during the 2019 National Reconciliation Week. It was specifically tailored for an Indigenous small business audience, and incorporates elements of storytelling to better engage with Indigenous participants.

    Supplier diversity

    • In 2019–20, total procurement from Indigenous businesses was $40.3 million in goods and services. Again, we exceeded the Indigenous Procurement Policy target of at least 3% of all new domestic contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses.

    Employment, career development and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    • Representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees was 2.33% as at June 2020.
    • We delivered employment strategies, through Career Trackers internships, affirmative measures recruitment, and Indigenous secondment programs, to support the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
    • Job vacancies – including entry level programs for Evergreen, Jumpstart and Graduate programs – were advertised in media specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.
    • Indigenous staff were engaged as panel members for all 2020 affirmative measures recruitment processes. Affirmative measures applied to all recruitment processes where 20 or more positions were offered. We also advertised more affirmative measures roles at executive levels (EL) 1 and 2.
    • Thirteen participants were approved for Indigenous Tuition Assistance Program funding. Certificate IV was included in the 2020 Evergreen program.

    Cultural awareness and education

    • Over 1,000 ATO staff participated in cultural learning programs, whether face-to-face, online or cultural immersion, including the Jawun program.
    • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ally network, Kawutilin, is a support and inclusion initiative and has 777 members.

    Ongoing commitment

    Preparations are under way for the ATO's next reconciliation action plan, to be developed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous representatives.

      Last modified: 10 Feb 2021QC 64667