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  • Reconciliation Action Plan achievements

    2021–22 end-of-year summary of our performance against commitments in our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2021–24.

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    About the Reconciliation Action Plan

    We value the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as employees, suppliers and clients.

    Our Reconciliation Action Plan 2021–24 shows our focus on unity and inclusion and our commitment to making the tax and superannuation systems fair and accessible for everyone.

    Our RAP provides information about our initiatives to support reconciliation. It helps us report our successes and lessons learned to Reconciliation AustraliaExternal Link.

    For more information, email our RAP project team at

    Outcomes and achievements in 2021–22

    There are 4 pillars which support our outcomes and achievements for 2021–22:


    We understand it's important to build respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations.

    We continued to explore ways to grow existing services and build new relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to support improved economic outcomes, with the aim of increasing confidence in the Australian tax and superannuation systems.

    Partnerships and services

    We continued to build relationships with Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander community stakeholders. We had formal and informal partnerships in place to support cultural awareness and client assistance.

    Our support for Indigenous small businesses included:

    • Small Business Newsroom articles
    • social media promotion
    • bulk mailouts to 250 Indigenous corporations advising of ATO support and products.

    We also participated in the First Nations Foundation Super Outreach Working group to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    National reconciliation week (NRW)

    We hosted a NRW webinar event with guest speaker, Tanya Hosch, Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy at the Australian Football League.

    Nearly 900 ATO staff attended the event. Other attendees included staff from Services Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics and Tax Practitioners Board.

    Event kits were provided to all sites, which included Reconciliation Australia resources, such as Reconciliation Film Club, banners, posters and email signature blocks.

    Promotion of reconciliation commitments

    Communication activities to support NRW and National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week included articles and posts from staff and senior leaders. Senior executive staff (SES) diversity champions also shared their stories. Staff also shared their experiences and learnings from Jawun secondments.

    Our Indigenous liaison officer service has been promoted to new and existing employees through newsletters, entry level program sessions, the Indigenous roundtable event, communications and forums.

    Two SES masterclasses were held in 2021–22 with 90 SES attending. In February 2022, the Engaging Effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples masterclass was led by Geoff Richardson, a proud Aboriginal leader. A second masterclass, including a panel discussion, was held in May 2022 and focused on diversity and inclusion.


    Respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader community are important to us, as we continue to support reconciliation and ensure our services are culturally appropriate.

    We continued to demonstrate our commitment to respect:

    • We included an Acknowledgment of Country at the beginning of external and cross-agency meetings and significant events.
    • The Acknowledgment of Country wording is available for staff in ATO signature block templates.
    • Corporate meeting templates have been updated with the brand refresh.
    • Acknowledgment of Country plaques and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are displayed in most ATO buildings – with the remaining on track for installation.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples protocols guide

    Our dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples protocols guide provides guidance about using Acknowledgment of Country at events and is tailored for all local communities we operate in.

    Our Indigenous-related communications include a link to the guide. All interactions related to Indigenous-specific programs, including inductions and human resources support, are supported and promoted through the guide.

    Supply Nation

    We work closely with Supply Nation. We ensure consultants providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services are assessed for cultural capability, and their expertise and knowledge is specific to the region the engagement relates to.

    Jawun secondment program

    To increase opportunities for staff to experience Indigenous cultures this year, 5 ATO staff participated in the virtual Jawun secondment program. Staff stories about their experience and learnings from Jawun secondments have been shared on internal platforms.


    By enhancing opportunities for our Indigenous staff, we ensure their knowledge and perspectives are valued throughout our decision-making processes.

    We recognise our crucial role in providing opportunities for Indigenous suppliers to improve economic outcomes.

    We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses by providing tailored education opportunities to encourage participation in the tax and superannuation systems.

    Community education

    During Tax Time 2021, we established Tax Help centres with National Indigenous training academy locations in Uluru resort and Mossman Gorge, working with trusted partners for trainees, staff and Indigenous locals. The program was a success and we're looking to expand services across remote areas for Tax Time 2022.

    A tax help communication resource was also developed and is being translated across 13 Indigenous languages – making it the first ATO product of this type.

    Our communication and support for small businesses included:

    • development and delivery of a new product: ‘Using your business money and assets’ to complement the existing ‘Running a home-based business’ product
    • delivery of 50 webinars covering 23 different topics to 1,062 Indigenous small business owners; 98% of post-event survey respondents indicated they would recommend the webinars to other small business owners
    • co-delivering 16 webinars with the Federal Regulatory Agency Group, Australian Securities and Investment Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman. Webinar topics included ‘Becoming an employer’ and ‘Starting a small business’.

    Employment and career development

    To support our Indigenous staff, the Nginu Yalga – Indigenous employee roundtable event was held over 3 weeks in March 2022. It focused on recruitment, career development, leadership, mentoring and cultural integrity. We partnered with First Grade recruitment, a majority owned and operated Indigenous enterprise, to recruit for our Evergreen program.

    Governance, tracking progress and reporting

    We continued to monitor RAP initiatives by tracking progress against the planned deliverables and publicly communicating our commitment to reconciliation.

    Indigenous champions took an active role in reconciliation activities during the year. This included participating in the RAP working group, NRW and NAIDOC Week events. Another 4 SES champions were appointed during the year to strengthen the reach of reconciliation to staff in all sites.

    Quarterly RAP working group meetings are held during the development and implementation of the 2021–24 RAP.

    Systems are in place to track, measure and report on RAP deliverables and quarterly reports are provided to the RAP working group for information and follow-up action. These reports are published and communicated to staff.

    Areas for improvement

    Indigenous not-for-profit organisations

    We're continuing to collaborate with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) and Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). We aim to identify current support and develop future strategies for Indigenous not-for-profit organisations.

    An Indigenous representative for the Not-for-profit Stewardship Group has now been confirmed. The outcomes of this consultation will form part of the Indigenous not-for-profit engagement strategy.

    We've started developing an action plan and initial engagement with internal and external stakeholders. We have a draft engagement strategy that supports improved client experiences for Indigenous not-for-profit organisations. Further work and stakeholder consultation is needed to refine and finalise the strategy.

    Cultural capability

    An ATO-wide cultural capability strategy is currently being developed to set our strategic plan for cultural awareness and capability training for staff.

    Our cultural awareness capability training participation at 30 June 2022 was 12% online (target is 15%) and 4% face-to-face (target is 5%). Initiatives are underway to add online cultural awareness training to the induction schedule in the second half of 2022 for all new employees.

    Environmental impacts prevented us from inviting traditional owners or custodians to provide a Welcome to Country or other appropriate cultural protocol to 5 significant ATO events this year. However, protocols are in place which provide guidance to conduct Welcome to Country at events. Stronger governance will be put in place to track this going forward and will be included in communications to site leadership events and Indigenous champions.

    Diversity and inclusion

    The 2024 Diversity and Inclusion Strategy was launched in August 2021, with focus areas for 2021–22 identified in an action plan.

    Several actions under the plan have been delivered and we're now focusing on refreshing the plan for the remaining life of the strategy. This includes consultation through the RAP working group, Moondani network and feedback through staff surveys and the Indigenous roundtable.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee representation

    2021–22 Commonwealth portfolio targets were not met for APS4 to APS6 staff (2.1%against target of 2.3%) and SES (0.0% against target of 0.5%).

    Recent changes have been made for affirmative measures recruitment to make it easier to advertise and appoint candidates from affirmative measures processes. A large-scale APS6 and EL1 affirmative measures process is planned.

    Options to help Indigenous officers be competitive for APS4 to APS6 recruitment activities, include:

    • delivering an internal Indigenous leadership program for new and aspiring leaders
    • providing an Indigenous career coaching panel for Indigenous staff.
      Last modified: 09 Nov 2022QC 64667