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  • Reconciliation Action Plan 2022–23 mid-year performance summary

    2022–23 mid-year summary of our performance against commitments in our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2021–24.

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    About the Reconciliation Action Plan

    Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) provides information on our initiatives to support reconciliation. It forms the basis for reporting our successes and lessons learned to Reconciliation Australia.External Link


    Our Senior Executive Service (SES) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Champions and RAP Champion have been engaging in our quarterly RAP Working Group meetings and the ATO Moondani meetings. Assistant Commissioner, Andrew Watson discussed championing reconciliation and supporting our Indigenous staff in a November Senior Leader Spotlight in our internal newsletter.


    We recognise the importance of building respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, and organisations. We continue 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.

    Collaboration and partnerships

    We continue to work with other agencies to advance reconciliation, with recent activities including meeting with:

    • the Canadian Revenue Agency to discuss strategies for supporting First Nations clients and staff
    • the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) to discuss our client strategies
    • Treasury to discuss our reconciliation activities and alignment to Closing the Gap targets
    • Certified Practicing Accountant Australia and the National Museum of Australia to discuss opportunities within their RAPs.

    Reach Out program

    The Reach Out program has achieved good outcomes as a result of working with Indigenous stakeholders (Yarpa, National Indigenous Business Chamber, NSW Indigenous Business Chamber, First Nations and First Australians Capital).

    Through collaboration, we have improved participation in small business client experience initiatives with an overall 25% increase in attendance at our Reach Out sessions. We continue to collaborate through the Federal Regulatory Agency Group, working with Australian Securities Investments Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman to participate in co-delivery of webinars covering topics such as ‘Employer Hiring workers’, ‘Employer Paying workers’ and ‘Starting a Small Business’.

    Advancing reconciliation

    We have recently partnered with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) on the Australian National University management program and have offered 4 spots to our staff. The program is expected to commence in 2023 and will support employee retention and development.

    We attended multiple reconciliation events, including the Indigenous Leadership Summit and Reconciliation Australia RAP Learning Circle, where we discussed best practice on implementing RAPs with other agencies and companies.


    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.

    NAIDOC Week

    NAIDOC Week was celebrated with a range of activities, which focused on the 'Get up! Stand up! Show Up!' theme. Events included a panel discussion, a virtual weaving event, and ‘The enemy within’ webinar on mental health. The webinar featured former sports star Joe Williams (a Wiradjuri/Wolgalu man) engaging our people with his personal journey. Our panel discussion was hosted by the ATO's Indigenous Champion Claire Miller, former SES Geoff Richardson External LinkPSM, Dr. Tjanara Goreng GorengExternal Link and CEO of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Craig RitchieExternal Link

    In addition, each site hosted its own activities, films, and interactions during NAIDOC Week. Communications were sent to all staff encouraging participation, including highlighting the importance of completing our Indigenous Australian cultural awareness training. MyATO news recapped NAIDOC Week, providing post-event webinar recordings and links to further information on ways staff can demonstrate commitment to reconciliation throughout the year. This includes nominating for the Jawun secondment program and becoming involved in Kawutilin – for allies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

    During NAIDOC Week we also delivered 10 webinars to 216 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants covering topics such as ‘Starting a small business’ and ‘Budgeting for your commitments’.

    RAP working group members attended external events. These included:

    • NAIDOC basketball carnival
    • NAIDOC National Awards
    • government sports carnival
    • the whole of government NAIDOC showcase (Victoria)
    • NAIDOC community marches.

    Cultural learning

    We are focusing on the importance of cultural awareness training for our staff.

    We have raised the importance of training for managers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, including through graduate, Evergreen, Jumpstart and School leaver intakes.

    Multiple Jawun secondment placements were taken up, with a mixture of in person and virtual placements, increasing the opportunity for staff to experience Indigenous cultures and assist community organisations.

    Acknowledgment of Country

    Acknowledgments of Country are included at the beginning of external meetings, cross agency meetings and significant events.

    The Acknowledgment of Country has been added to our internal corporate agenda template.


    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 October (Indigenous small business month) we delivered 40 sessions to 781 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants on topics such as ‘Connecting online with the ATO’, ‘Cash flow for small business success’, ‘Starting a small business’ and ‘Budgeting for your commitments’.

    Evaluation survey responses included comments such as:

    • 'Fantastic webinars, I am learning the correct methods to help my business succeed.'
    • 'My confidence in the ATO has never been higher, thank you so much.'

    External Learning Events

    Staff attended a number of external learning events, including:

    • Indigenous Leadership Summit November 2022 (20 attendees)
    • Brisbane RAP Learning Circle December 2022 (2 attendees).

    Recruitment and career development

    Jumpstart Program (placements began October 2022): We’ve partnered with TAFE NSW Digital to provide Certificate III training. An Indigenous support component is included in the curriculum. Student Support Officers are allocated to each individual learner to help them navigate the course and complete the required assessments.

    A secondment opportunity for 6 months at APS6 level with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commenced on 8 November 2022 and will finish on 9 May 2023.

    The bulk APS6 and EL1 affirmative measures processes resulted in over a dozen offers by December 2022, with more offers and placements to occur in early 2023.

    Governance, tracking progress and reporting

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


    The RAP Working Group meets quarterly, and the Terms of Reference and membership are reviewed regularly to ensure relevant representation. Increased resources have been dedicated to the oversight and support of our RAP.


    We publish our progress against RAP deliverables internally and externally on a regular basis.

    Ongoing focus areas

    Indigenous not-for-profit (NFP) organisations

    Collaboration with ORIC and Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is ongoing.

    An engagement strategy has been drafted to support improved client experiences for Indigenous not-for-profit organisations.

    We are also continuing to work and provide ongoing support to an at risk remote rural Indigenous NFP organisation. The learnings from this interaction will assist in refining the draft engagement strategy.

    Cultural capability

    Work is continuing on an ATO-wide strategy to set our strategic plan for cultural awareness and capability training for staff.

    While we expect a refreshed cultural capability framework will be released by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) in early 2023, we will deliver our own document independent of the APSC, if required.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee representation

    2022–23 ATO Reconciliation Action Plan employee representation targets are currently not on track as of 31 December 2022:

    • APS 4–6: 2.2% (target 2.7%)
    • EL1–2: 0.8% (target 1%)
    • SES: 0% (target 1%).

    We are using affirmative measures recruitment to support progress towards our RAP targets:

    • The Indigenous affirmative measure provision has been applied to 12 campaigns since 1 July 2022 (in addition to the Evergreen, School Leaver, Graduate and Jumpstart programs).
    • Large-scale APS6 and EL1 Indigenous affirmative measure processes were advertised in August 2022, with onboarding of multiple candidates to occur in 2023.
    • A Senior Executive Service officer (SES) affirmative measure process will be advertised in February 2023. We are working in partnership with the APSC and National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to ensure the process is a culturally safe and positive experience for applicants.
      Last modified: 23 Feb 2023QC 71445