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  • Stretch reconciliation action plan 2018–20

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    Message from Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan

    I am pleased to sponsor the 2018–20 Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This RAP represents the ATO's commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It provides information about initiatives that support reconciliation, and gives us the basis for reporting our successes and lessons to Reconciliation Australia.

    Reconciliation is everyone's business, and for the ATO it's about valuing the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bring to this organisation – as employees, suppliers and clients. Our plan details activities that are intended to provide systemic improvements and opportunities to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and suppliers, and to provide support services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tax payers.

    Our RAP has four focus areas under which we will measure deliverables:

    1. relationships
    2. respect
    3. opportunities
    4. governance, tracking progress and reporting.

    First and foremost, our aim is to build and maintain respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and relevant stakeholders – in the ATO and in the community. We aim to understand their experience to better meet their needs, as employees, suppliers or taxpayers and to encourage and support them to participate in the tax system.

    Our approach to diversity includes having greater awareness, acknowledgement, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. We believe that greater understanding will help us create employment opportunities and experiences that are more inclusive.

    As we evolve as an organisation, and as our approach to diversity evolves, we will ensure our RAP remains relevant and effective in creating unity and inclusion. We will monitor our RAP and track our progress so we remain focused on its success.

    I am proud of the culturally inclusive environment we have fostered at the ATO. This plan provides a strong framework to build on successes to date and to further support inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – within and outside the ATO.

    Chris Jordan AO
    Commissioner of Taxation

    Message from our SES Indigenous Champions

    As senior leaders, we recognise and appreciate the value that diversity brings to a large federal government agency like ours. We know a diverse workforce affords us a broad range of skills and experience, which is reflective of the community we serve.

    We believe our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff are an asset to our organisation. With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a part of our workforce, we are better able to understand the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience.

    As Indigenous champions, we support cultural awareness through Australian Public Service (APS) wide involvement. We provide support with Indigenous recruitment and retention, actively promoting the Evergreen Program for our new employees.

    We support and drive sustainable change under the Indigenous Procurement Policy, and encourage the Jawun secondment program for our senior-level employees. Our involvement as Indigenous champions allows us to advocate for further development of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, their career progression and opportunities.

    We are proud of our journey towards reconciliation to date and actively plan to progress further. We continue to look forward to ensuring engagement with the ATO is a good experience for Indigenous Australians.

    Matthew Hay
    Deputy Commissioner
    Enterprise Capabilities

    Michelle Crosby
    Deputy Commissioner
    Deputy Registrar ABR
    Business Reporting
    and Registration

    Frances Cawthra
    Deputy Commissioner
    Chief Finance Officer

    Our vision for reconciliation

    It is now more than 10 years since the ATO introduced our first RAP in 2007. During this time, we have made much progress toward unity between First Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. But there is further to go and more that can be done. To support this vision, and our contribution, we have developed a RAP which outlines our commitment and dedication for inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the tax and superannuation systems.

    We are an organisation that genuinely wants to be a part of reconciliation and the benefits this brings to our Australian community through participation in the tax and superannuation systems. We believe in employing and retaining more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. Likewise, we will support and promote the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers when conducting procurements. By advocating for the economic and social wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the ATO, our First Australians will experience a greater sense of participation and inclusion.

    The ATO's next wave of change is reflecting our commitment to ongoing transformation. We want to build trust and confidence in the ATO and our tax and superannuation systems. We want to be streamlined, integrated and data driven.

    Our two 2024 aspirations are:

    • Building trust and confidence: Government and community have trust and confidence in the ATO and the tax and super systems.
    • Streamlined, integrated and data driven: Our client experience is streamlined and integrated. We will harness the value of data to direct our work and automate our processes where we can.

    To achieve our aspirations for 2024, we have nine key strategic objectives:

    • We build community confidence by sustainably reducing the tax gap and providing assurance across the tax and superannuation systems.
    • We design for a better tax and superannuation system to make it easy to comply and hard not to.
    • Our client experience and interactions are well designed, tailored, fair and transparent.
    • We work with and through others to deliver efficient and effective tax and superannuation systems.
    • We are a high-performing, responsive and professional workforce with the right culture to deliver now and for the future.
    • We provide the right tools and workplace so staff can deliver the best client experience.
    • We use data and insights to deliver value for our clients and inform decision making across everything we do.
    • Our technology and digital services deliver a reliable and contemporary client experience.
    • We strive for operational excellence to achieve efficiency and quality outcomes.

    Our business

    The ATO is a federal agency within the Australian Government. We are responsible for the administration of tax and superannuation laws and the collection of revenue. The revenue we collect supports the Australian economy and provides valuable services and resources for our national community.

    As at December 2017, our organisation employs approximately 18,500 people, including 386 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, across 22 ATO sites nationwide.

    We are changing the way we work. We want to give our clients, staff and stakeholders the best possible experience with the tax and superannuation systems.

    To achieve our vision of being a contemporary, service-oriented organisation, we are transforming how our clients experience the tax and superannuation systems. We will underpin this transformation through significant cultural change and improvements for our staff.

    Our transformation is driven by the changing environment and expectations of the Australian community. It also supports the government’s drive for productivity, efficiency and deregulation.

    In 2018 the ATO implemented an inclusive all staff ally network called Kawutilin. Kawutilin (ally) means 'coming together' in the language of the Wonnarua people, the traditional owners of the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. This language was selected and the artwork created by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to represent all ATO employees working towards reconciliation and inclusion in the workplace. The network will offer face-to-face support and guidance, celebrate our events and promote inclusion with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

    Our RAP

    Our development process

    Our organisation has developed a RAP because we genuinely want to be a part of reconciliation between Australia’s First Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. As a leading federal government agency, we have a duty to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation to all Australians. Developing a Stretch RAP gives us the opportunity to support the direction of Reconciliation Australia and showcase our own goals and achievements.

    The ATO’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–20 was developed in consultation with all areas of our business. This process was led by ATO Corporate (ATOC). ATOC has consulted with:

    • ATO People
    • ATO Finance
    • Moondani, the ATO Indigenous employee network
    • ATO Corporate
    • ATO Senior Executive Staff (SES) Indigenous Champions
    • ATO Small Business Line
    • ATO Superannuation Business Line
    • ATO Individuals Business Line
    • ATO Client Account Services.

    This ATO RAP for 2018–20 is sponsored internally by our Commissioner, Chris Jordan AO. We also worked with Reconciliation Australia’s guidance to reach endorsement.

    Our reconciliation journey

    The ATO’s journey toward formally supporting reconciliation began with our first RAP in 2007, followed by successive versions in 2010 and 2014. Over that time, we have increased:

    • employment, career development and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • staff cultural awareness and education
    • spend with Indigenous-owned businesses
    • tailored tax and super information and support with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    We aim to build on these successes and work to further increase the unity and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this, our fourth RAP.

    Our improved services and offerings

    Since we implemented our first RAP, we have made positive strides in improving the unity and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the ATO. Some of our achievements are below:

    • We began our own commitment to supplier diversity in 2014, and created our own Supplier Diversity Strategy in early 2015 along with dedicated resources in our procurement team.
    • Based on our commitment, we then assisted the creation of the federal initiative, Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP), implemented later in 2015.
    • We increased our contract commitments with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers from less than $10,000 in 2013 to $69m by the end of 2016–17 financial year – $69m is the cumulative contract commitment amount over this period.
    • We consistently achieved the IPP target set for the entire Treasury Portfolio.
    • We achieved a significant increase in the number of contracts awarded to Indigenous Businesses with 4.29% of total ATO contracts awarded to Indigenous Businesses in 2015–16 financial year and 7.65% of total ATO contracts awarded to Indigenous Businesses in the 2016–17 financial year
    • We genuinely committed to establishing long term relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier businesses, resulting in 44 businesses having ongoing contracts by 2017.
    • We were awarded Government Member of the Year category at the Supply Nation Awards in 2016 based on performance and commitment toward supplier diversity.
    • We launched an online cultural awareness package increasing in the uptake annually with all ATO employees encouraged to complete.
    • Our Tax Help programFootnote1 of volunteers operates in all capital cities to provide assistance with tax returns from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • A tailored program of online learning resources on superannuation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • Evergreen Indigenous pathways recruitment initiative, which is now an ongoing program. This entry-level program is designed to build the core work skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people while providing a career plan.
    • A significant increase in the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees from 0.8% in July 2013 to 2.1% in February 2018.
    • Ongoing recruitment campaigns specifically with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
    • Workforce initiatives to support Indigenous employment and diversity.
    • Senior Executive Staff (SES) Champions selected to support affirmative measure provision recruitment, retention and career development with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
    • We have provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees with access to mentors to assist with career development.
    • Indigenous Liaison Officers (ILO) providing a national support and advice role to ATO managers in the management of cultural issues. Footnote2
    • We have formalised employee networks to support Indigenous employees, eg the Moondani Network.
    • We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander days of significance.
    • An ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples protocol guide.
    • ATO Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017-2019.
    • Plaques acknowledging Traditional Owners are located in each ATO site.

    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 including:

    • the ATO Indigenous Helpline, which provides support for individual tax and super enquiries weekdays from 8:00am to 6:00pm on 13 10 30
    • our dedicated webpage ato.gov.au/indigenous which has a range of information tailored toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Our Small Business Community Education initiatives develop, support and provide services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small business by working in collaboration with external partners to deliver integrated strategies which engage, educate and inform. Some of these strategies are below:

    • Engaging with Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) to discuss their programs and identify opportunities for partnership. We have provided educational support products for distribution at IBA workshops. We will be building on this relationship to develop tailored education products for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small business.
    • We are exploring how to promote the Cash flow coaching kit education program and measure its impact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small business through their trusted partners. This early prevention program is being developed to provide small business owners with practical, sound and relevant material to help them be successful.
    • We have partnered with Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) to develop and deliver training covering aspects of business such as growth, consolidation and exiting which in turn they will provide to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small business.
    • Participating in Northern Territory Business month with Nhulunbuy Corporation in their business week activities to support, inspire and grow the Nhulunbuy business community bridging the gap between two different cultures.

    Our growth

    Our journey towards supporting reconciliation has been constant and progressive since our first RAP in 2007. Our learning journey continues about how we can work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    In our fourth RAP, we want to increase our ability to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by:

    • procuring from Indigenous owned businesses
    • promoting and encouraging more individuals to consider the ATO as a viable career path
    • increasing awareness of, and delivering, our tailored approach, free support and services
    • remaining informed while partnering and engaging with community leaders about what is important
    • ensuring support we provide is based on real needs, remains accessible and easy to understand, to increase participation in the tax and super system
    • providing support to organisations playing a significant role in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients with their specific tax and super needs within their communities.

    We will continue to work towards voluntary inclusion and participation in the tax and superannuation systems with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    This new RAP will be used by the ATO to uphold our pledge of action towards reconciliation. We will report on its progress to Reconciliation Australia and publically.

    Relationships

    The ATO recognises the importance of building and maintaining respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians through:

    • helping us better understand and meet their needs
    • encouraging and assisting their participation in the tax system
    • helping them understand their rights and obligations
    • improving ease of compliance and access to benefits.

    This will ultimately lead to increased confidence in the Australian tax and superannuation systems.

    Focus area: Providing assistance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Action

    Deliverable

    Timeline

    Accountability and Responsibility

    1. RAP Consultative Group (the Consultative Group) actively monitors RAP development and implementation.
     
    • Oversee the development and endorsement of the RAP.
    • Ensure there is at least 50% representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Consultative Group.
    • Meet to monitor and report on RAP implementation.
    • Review terms of reference for 2019 and beyond for the Moondani Network.
     

    Established Consultative Group in 2018.

    Meet regularly (formally and informally).

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, Diverse Audiences, ATO Corporate

    1. Celebrate National Reconciliation Week (Reconciliation Week) to strengthen and maintain relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and other staff.
     
    • Organise and encourage participation in at least one Reconciliation Week event annually at each ATO site.
    • Register all Reconciliation Week events via Reconciliation Australia’s Reconciliation Week website and transfer to ATO Workplace Diversity Sharepoint.
    • Staff and senior leaders to participate in events to recognise and celebrate Reconciliation Week, and over time increase and measure our efforts.
    • Ensure a Consultative Group representative participates in external Reconciliation Week events each year.
    • Support an external Reconciliation Week event that could include partnering with community organisations.
    • Where possible, support co-hosting an inter-agency Reconciliation Week event.
    • Publish an article featuring National Reconciliation Week in ATO Newsletter.
     

    Planning: March-June each year

    Implementation: 27 May – 3 June 2018
    27 May – 3 June 2019
    27 May – 3 June 2020

    Review: July – August each year

    National Site Leadership and Corporate Events, ATO People

    Director, Workplace Diversity ATO People

    Moondani Network

    1. Maintain and leverage mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, and organisations to support positive outcomes.
     
    • Develop and implement projects or initiatives to work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.
    • Consolidate formal partnerships to build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and/or communities relevant to our sphere of influence (Jawun Program).
    • Participate in community events, providing education and assistance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on tax and superannuation matters.
    • Seek advice with ATO Workplace Diversity for guidance on current or new program changes, to ensure they are measurable, sustainable and culturally aware.
    • Develop and put in place an Indigenous small business Education Strategy in line with the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet’s (PM&C) proposed 10 year Indigenous Business sector strategy.
    • Develop strong partnerships with external partners to increase Indigenous small business participation in the tax and super systems by offering tailored education products through external partners like:
      • IBA
      • PM&C
      • DHS
      • Supply Nation
      • ASBAS
      • Many Rivers.
       
    • Review our communication and marketing channels to better target and increase engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through traditional media, community media, social media and public relations.
    • Include and support all internal non-Indigenous staff to support Indigenous employee networks.
     

    Annual engagement plans developed for 2018–19; 2019–20; 2020–21.

    Bi-annual review of community engagement events identified and leveraged.

    Quarterly review: established relationships with local land councils to showcase work we are doing.

    Director, Diverse Audiences, ATO Corporate

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, National Site Leadership (NSL), ATO People

    Director, Client Experience Teams

    1. Raise internal and external awareness of our RAP to promote reconciliation across our business and sector.
     
    • Develop and implement a strategy to communicate our RAP to all internal and external stakeholders.
    • Promote reconciliation through ongoing active engagement with all stakeholders.
    • Engage our senior leaders in the delivery of RAP outcomes.
    • Include RAP information and progress in Corporate Plan, Business Line Plans, Governance Reporting.
     

    Launch of RAP in 2018

    Annual review of RAP implementation and achievement of milestones: 30 June each year.

    Director, Corporate Strategy, ATO Corporate

    Director, Diverse Audiences, ATO Corporate

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    SES Indigenous Champions

    Moondani Network

    1. Explore an annual ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff conference.
     
    • Provide annual conference concept proposal to Assistant Commissioner, ATO People.
    • Once approved, deliver annual conference for ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
    • The event is targeted towards our ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to network and collaborate with senior leaders and empower their development through training and key messages.
     

    Annual conference to be held: May 2018, 2019 date to be advised, 2020 date to be advised

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    SES Indigenous Champions

    Assistant Commissioner, Workforce Strategy and Change, ATO People

    Respect

    Our staff build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by being aware of, acknowledging and respecting these cultures. This enables us to provide culturally appropriate support and services.

    Focus area: Cultural Awareness and Education

    Action

    Deliverable

    Timeline

    Accountability and Responsibility

    1. Increase knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements.
     
    • Develop, implement and review an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training strategy for staff defining learning needs of employees and considering online learning, face-to-face workshops, or cultural immersion.
    • Up to five senior staff participate in the Jawun program each year.
    • Make online and face-to-face cultural learning activities available to staff. The face-to-face learning activities are tailored to both employees and managers.
    • Make cultural awareness training mandatory for all staff that manage Affirmative Measures programs.
    • Promote Reconciliation Australia’s Share Our Pride online tool to all staff.
    • We recognise and remain aware of:
      • the difference between cultural awareness, understanding, competency and safety when it comes to the organisation and individual journeys
      • the difference between online, face-to-face and immersion training
      • a targeted approach to maximize use of limited resources.
       
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture awareness is delivered through a variety of options, for example, online package, webinars and face-to-face training.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Affirmative Measures program: cultural awareness training within 3 months of commencement.

    Assistant Commissioner, Learning and Development, ATO People

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    1. Demonstrate respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities by embedding cultural protocols as part of the way our organisation functions.
     
    • Ensure current ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols guide, containing Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country protocols, is relevant to all ATO sites and promoted.
    • Invite a local traditional owner to provide a Welcome to Country, at significant events each year.
    • Staff and senior leadership to provide an Acknowledgement of Country at appropriate and relevant events.
    • Develop a local list of Traditional Custodians to approach for each office when inviting Elders to deliver Welcome to Country.
    • Acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land at public ATO events.
    • All major events, where members of the public representatives of other government agencies and/or the media are present, to include a Welcome to Country.
    • Welcome to Country ceremonies should, where possible, be undertaken by Elders, a locally recognised Indigenous community spokesperson, or locally recognised cultural service provider.
     

    Annual review of ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples protocol guide: June 2018; June 2019; June 2020

    Promote the RAP and ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples protocol guide: June 2019.

    Develop and distribute Acknowledgment of Country cards.

    National Site Leadership Teams and Corporate Events, ATO People

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Moondani Network

    1. Celebrate NAIDOC Week and provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to engage with culture and community during NAIDOC Week.
     
    • Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to participate in community NAIDOC Week events.
    • In consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold an internal, or public, NAIDOC Week event.
    • Promote our cultural, ceremonial and NAIDOC leave arrangements listed in the ATO Enterprise Agreement 2017 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to attend NAIDOC activities.
    • Raise staff awareness on NAIDOC Week in ATO Newsletter.
     

    Planning: March-June each year

    Implementation: Commences first Sunday of July in each calendar year.

    Review: July – August each year.

    National Site Leadership Teams and Corporate Events, ATO People

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Moondani Network

    1. Develop and strengthen cultural recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the ATO and the Australian Community.
     
    • Further develop our network for example Moondani, the ATO’s internal Indigenous employee network by:
      • providing awareness, support, encouragement and availability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to become a Moondani member
      • providing development opportunities for chair and co-chair roles.
       
    • Develop relationships with Indigenous organisations to enhance and facilitate cultural recognition within the ATO and broader community.
    • Moondani representative to participate and contribute to the organisation of NRW and NAIDOC Week events.
    • Review and refresh our terms of reference to support the Moondani network towards 2020.
    • Work with our Indigenous champions and report on our progress at the workplace diversity monthly meetings.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Director, National Site Leadership and Corporate Events, ATO People

    Director, Learning and Development

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Moondani Network

    1. Building culturally appropriate services.
     
    • All products targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are consistently themed in a culturally appropriate manner.
    • Ensure the interpreting needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are supported.
    • Using My Stories, videos and cultural messaging to tailor our communication and engagement strategies where appropriate.
    • Include Acknowledgement of Country on our online public facing platforms to demonstrate ATO values.
    • Ensuring appropriate governance controls are imbedded when dealing with any communities are discussed in advance and supported through the effective contributions from ATO Diversity team members in held positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison or HR officers.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, Diverse Audiences, ATO Corporate

    Opportunities

    Providing employment opportunities inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important part of the ATO’s diversity program. Not only do we improve our workforce by broadening perspectives and approaches, but at the same time we gain an even greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Likewise, providing opportunities inclusive of our Indigenous suppliers means they may experience greater economic outcomes.

    Focus areas: Internally – Employment and Career Development, Externally – Supplier Diversity

    Action

    Deliverable

    Timeline

    Accountability and Responsibility

    1. Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development.
     
    • Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment to 2.5% and embed retention strategies for existing employees.
    • Continue to develop, implement, review and update Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander attraction, employment and retention strategy, including professional development.
    • Engage with existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to consult on employment strategies, including professional development.
    • Advertise job vacancies including entry level programs for Evergreen, Cadet and Graduation programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media where relevant.
    • Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation is made available for all affirmative measure selection panels.
    • Continue to implement Indigenous Employment Strategy.
    • Ensure opportunities for further information or support is available to candidates interested in affirmative measures as part of bulk recruitment activities.
    • Actively participate in leading recruitment and retention initiatives through the APS Indigenous Champions Network, Indigenous SES Network, and cross agency consultative group.
    • Embed and evolve the opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees as part of the ATO Secondment Program.
    • Support further education of for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, including training through the Tuition Assistance Program.
    • Ensure training events and packages are specifically tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people recruited in all affirmative measures programs. Consideration must be given to cultural elements, capability and learning styles.
    • Continue to support professional training through accredited and bespoke training tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people recruited in all affirmative measures evergreen programs.
    • Continue to explore new strategic avenues to recruit and attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through various initiatives or programs.
    • Explore or lead cross agency collaborations for information sharing for Indigenous staff.
    • Retain staff through career development via internal management, leadership and development opportunities.
    • Explore opportunities to develop and increase our staff leadership representation levels at senior roles (EL-SES).
    • Ensure brand and corporate positioning recognises affirmative measured programs and applies tailored design accordingly. Apply affirmative measures procedures to our recruitment and employment.
    • We acknowledge that we support and work with other agencies at times and may also be a feeder to the wider APS employment pathway.
     

    Recruitment target: Duration of plan to December 2020.

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, Talent Acquisition, ATO People

    Director, Learning and Development ATO People

    Moondani Network

    SES Indigenous Champions

    1. Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity.
     
    • Promote to ATO staff to increase contracting with Indigenous businesses and implement changes required to support the Indigenous Procurement Policy.
    • Actively seek opportunities and bring together Indigenous businesses and ATO stakeholders. Meet the portfolio target, of at least 3% of all new domestic contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses each financial year.
    • Maintain relationship, and our annual corporate membership, with Supply Nation and continue to support respective peak bodies with a focus to participating in events. Work together to deliver enhanced outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses when working with the ATO.
     

    2018–20

    Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Procurement & Contracts, ATO Finance to promote and implement.

    All areas of the ATO to implement.

    1. Increase financial literacy and economic outcomes through improved service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers.
     
    • Measure uptake of programs assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers, such as
      • the ATO Indigenous Helpline
        • providing support for individual tax and super enquiries
         
      • dedicated webpage
        • ato.gov.au/indigenous has a range of information tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
         
      • small business community education initiatives
        • engaging with Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) on their programs and opportunity for partnership
        • cash flow coaching kit education program
        • partnering with Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) to develop and deliver training
        • participating in Northern Territory Business Month with Nhulunbuy Corporation
        • continue developing partnership with Torres Straight Regional Authority (TSRA)
        • deliver ‘Reach Out’ Indigenous Business Support Project Pilot, leveraging Evergreen staff’s experience and cultural awareness to work strategically with Indigenous businesses and through partners.
         
       
    • Consult customers to gain feedback on usefulness and possible improvements to programs.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Director, Client Account Services, Service Delivery

    Marketing and Communications capability

    Director of Small Business Community Engagement Initiatives

    Director, Individuals Engagement and Support

    All areas of the ATO implement

    1. Develop appropriate service delivery with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tax payers.
     
    • Continue to leverage cross-agency relationships to embed tax and super information where relevant, including Closing the Gap initiatives.
    • Partner with other government and local organisations to offer shared outreach services and support.
    • Continue to develop products and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences nationally to provide the information they need to understand and complete simple tax affairs at minimal cost.
    • Explore an improved telephone client-service approach with clients having difficulty with confirming identity and working with the ATO’s ILO’s (cultural awareness training and staff development) through tailored communication for additional support.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Director, Individuals, Super Business Line

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, Individuals Engagement and Support, Individuals Business Line

    Marketing and Communications capability

    Director, Client Account Services, Service Delivery

    Governance, tracking progress and reporting

    We will identify and improve systems where possible to capture and report relevant data. We aim to monitor our RAP by tracking progress, reviewing and updating regularly. We plan to consult across our organisation and report on achievements, challenges and new learnings.

    Focus areas: Governance, tracking progress and reporting

    Action

    Deliverable

    Timeline

    Accountability and Responsibility

    1. Report RAP achievements, challenges and learnings to Reconciliation Australia for inclusion in the RAP Impact Measurement Report.
     
    • Complete and submit the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia.
    • Investigate participation in the RAP Barometer.
    • Develop and implement systems and capability needs to track, measure and report on RAP activities.
     

    External: 30 September yearly

    Internal: Quarterly, in line with ATOE reporting against Corporate Plan (March, June, September, December).

    Director, Corporate Strategy, ATO Corporate

    Director, Diverse Audiences, ATO Corporate

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    Director, Strategic Procurement and Contracts, ATO Finance

    1. Report RAP achievements, challenges and learnings internally and externally.
     
    • Publically report our RAP achievements, challenges and learnings. Channels may include ato.gov.au (external) and News Hub/Yammer (internal).
    • Communicate quarterly updates on RAP progress to stakeholders.
    • Include RAP information and progress in Corporate Plan, Business Line Plans, and Governance reporting.
     

    Ongoing and reporting annually by October of each year.

    Director, Corporate Strategy, ATO Corporate

    Marketing and Communications capability

    Director, Workplace Diversity, ATO People

    1. Review, refresh and update RAP.
     
    • Liaise with Reconciliation Australia to develop a new RAP based on learnings, challenges and achievements.
    • Send draft RAP to Reconciliation Australia for feedback.
    • Submit draft RAP to Reconciliation Australia for formal endorsement.
     

    Review of existing RAP to commence March 2020

    Launch: January 2021

    Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Strategy, ATO Corporate

    1. Future RAP development.
     
    • The RAP 2018–20 will remain in effect until a new RAP is finalised.
    • Our RAP will evolve with our organisation. Ongoing consultation will be a core part of our monitoring and tracking to ensure the success of the plan in achieving unity and inclusion, and to inform future RAPs.
     

    December 2020 – June 2021

    Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Strategy, ATO Corporate

    Contact details

    For feedback or to find out more information, email diversity@ato.gov.au

    Appendix 1 – Case studies, stories and examples

    Indigenous Roundtable Event 2017

    The Indigenous Roundtable was an initiative from 2014–17 RAP. The first event was held in 2015, another in 2016, and a third in 2017.

    Through this highly successful event, the Workplace Diversity team was able to gather data to implement initiatives, including the Indigenous Employment Strategy, Indigenous Mentor Program, Diploma of Business Program, Indigenous Employee Network and revamp of the Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training Packages.

    Following the success of the outcomes from the 2015 Indigenous Roundtable event, we implemented a second roundtable event in 2016 and a mini roundtable, including key stakeholders in 2017.

    The roundtable concept has continued to keep employees engaged, motivated, and offers career development opportunities embracing diversity and being an inclusive workplace.

    Casey Reynolds story

    Hi my name is Casey Reynolds I’m currently on the 2017 evergreen program in my second rotation with the Workplace Services team in Adelaide. I was born in Darwin Northern Territory (NT) and my mob is the Jawoyn mob out in the Kakadu region of the NT.

    I took the opportunity to attend the 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee Roundtable in Brisbane, it was amazing. The two-day event focused on career development and leadership.

    During the two days we heard stories from senior staff and some inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who encouraged us to challenge ourselves, never give up and always look for tomorrow.

    I think it was especially great that the Indigenous champions were also able to participate in activities and showcase their support and enthusiasm.

    Personally it was a great experience for me as I got to meet fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees from other sites around the country and hear their own journeys in the ATO. This gave me the opportunity to broaden my networks, share experiences and encourage others.

    The event was planned out very well. I look forward to branching out in the ATO and learning more about the organisation.

    Person in a senior position

    Profiling an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person in a senior position. This person will outline their journey and how they are experiencing continuing their journey at the ATO.

    Adrian Cheatham’s story

    I am a Wiradjuri man originally from Dubbo NSW and spent most of my life on Ngunnawal country in Canberra. Commemorating my proud Aboriginal culture is one of my major drivers, both personally and professionally.

    My professional journey began in 2007 at the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. I participated in the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program and achieved my Diploma in 2008. I joined the Department of Human Services in late 2011, providing advice to project managers and senior staff.

    In 2016 I successfully applied for an ATO Affirmative Measure position as the Workplace Diversity Assistant Director and Indigenous HR Advisor. I was proud and blessed for the opportunity to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, educate non-indigenous staff, and contribute to the Commonwealth and ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy.

    I provide strategic and cultural leadership to the implementation of current and emerging strategies to support recruitment, retention and career development for ATO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. That means better support and engagement for staff and communities, with tailored programs to improve recruitment, retention and career development. We are promoting culturally inclusive work spaces by educating all staff on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and protocols.

    In 2018, I was fortunate to undertake the Emerging Indigenous Executive Leaders Program. Reconciliation Australia has collaborated with the Australian Graduate School of Management to offer an opportunity that focusses on developing executive-ready Indigenous future leaders.

    Reconciliation is everyone's business, and I encourage all ATO business lines to embrace it, embed initiatives into business strategies, and actively be a part of the ATO’s movement towards national reconciliation.

    Person with career development

    A human resource officer with career opportunities in the ATO.

    Glenn Mann’s story

    I am a proud descendant of the Woppaburra people (Keppel Island), on my Mother’s side, and grew up on Kalkadoon country in Mount Isa.

    I joined the ATO in 2004, moving from Townsville to Melbourne for a three month non-ongoing contract in Super Exceptions. It was difficult to move, but I was fortunate to have the support of my mum and dad, who helped me relocate.

    I secured a permanent position in Service Delivery after three months. My colleagues were very supportive and have become some of my closest friends. During my time in Service Delivery, I gained experience across various levels (APS4 to APS6) on higher duties. I learnt being resilient is one of the best attributes to have. It helps you overcome set-backs, deal with change, and keeps your mind open to take on new skills.

    After thirteen years, I decided I wanted more security after being on long-term higher duties. I applied for the ATO Graduate Program in the Human Resources stream in ATO People. This gave me access to new experiences and work areas during my rotations. The experience was positive, and I got to work with many great people. As a result, I was able to draw upon my experiences in Service Delivery and ATO People and secure a substantive APS5 position in the People Support Team in ATO People. I am really enjoying where I work and continue to take development opportunities as they arise.

    Finally, it is great to see the ATO embrace diversity and inclusion with the many networks that people can support and join. This year I have been fortunate to be chairperson of the Moondani Network in Victoria, and witness the great contributions Indigenous staff make to the ATO.

    Person with career development

    In 2017 conducted an Indigenous Employee Canberra Secondment Pilot Program. A participant in the program will tell their story of career development.

    Stella Renagi’s story

    I’m from Darnley Island in the Torres Straits; I joined the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Evergreen Program in 2014 as a Client Engagement officer. The program gave me an overview of the business and how we encourage willing participation in the tax system. The program challenged me, through a variety of work placements, with extensive support and training.

    I successfully completed the program and went onto participate in a two-week Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job shadow and mentoring program in Canberra. From this opportunity I secured a position on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Secondment Program in Indirect Tax, Client Experience Government, Law Assurance and Not for Profit (NFP).

    I’ve been helping the NFP team shape their 2024 vison, explored ways to leverage initiatives across the ATO and whole of government to understand the challenges and opportunities and contributed to the development of the NFP communication strategy.

    These programs gave me the confidence and experience to apply my skills and contributed towards my career development. The ATO have supported me thoroughly throughout my journey, in all aspects of my employment.

    Entry-level program participant now ongoing and studying

    Profiling a person who has entered the ATO through an Entry Level Program targeted toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    This person has now completed the program, is an ongoing staff member and is currently engaging in tertiary study through the ATO.

    Evergreen officer Jamaya Wightman’s story

    I am from the Boggabilla, NSW, in the Kamilaroi Nation. Boggabilla's population is less than 1,000, with nearly 60% Indigenous Australians, and opportunities are limited.

    I was awarded Junior Employee of the Year by the Goondiwindi Chamber Of Commerce after a school-based traineeship with Westpac. Sadly, around this time I lost my father. He was 45 years old, and losing him was extremely hard.

    I attended an info session on the ATO Evergreen Program. I saw this as an opportunity to grow my confidence in the workplace. It has been a great experience and I am still learning. I never thought taking a job with the ATO would expose me to the networking and opportunities I’ve had.

    I was proud to raise our flagExternal Link at the 10th anniversary of the National Apology in Newcastle. There is sadness about the past, but I feel proud we are still here and fighting. I felt I was representing the whole community, in particular the elders, and everyone who endured pain flowing from the removal of children of the Stolen Generation.

    The effects of the Stolen Generation are the loss of our people and the loss of our culture. Mothers lost their children and children lost their family and history. There was so much pain and hurt which persists to this day.

    The National Apology was a start, but we have a long way to go. Just as our ancestors fought for us, I believe we need to fight for our culture and show the children of today, who will be the elders of the future, that being Aboriginal is something to be proud of.

    Joyrah Newman’s story

    I was born on Thursday Island and spent my childhood in Cape York.

    I previously worked for a non-profit organisation, travelling to communities in Far North Queensland delivering services to welfare recipients subjected to trauma.

    I was selected in the ATO 2014 Indigenous Evergreen Entry Level Program.

    I am currently working in Goods and Services (GST) Technical Product Leadership where I have committed to learning and development, completing diplomas in Management and Business. I am now in my last year as an undergraduate in business accounting.

    I am the first point of contact for internal and external clients seeking technical assistance on the application of GST law. The ATO provides study leave. The ATO benefits from my study, as I apply my new skills to the workplace.

    Indigenous Australian’s come from a long line of suffering due to impediments to quality education. I’ve been fortunate to have other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the ATO. Without the support of these people, I would have not achieved what I have. It is important for the individual to take responsibility for strengthening Indigenous groups in the ATO.

    I have overcome many challenges to get to where I am. Graduating at tertiary level will not only change my life, but I know it will impact the lives of many young Indigenous children. It’s essential for Indigenous people to self-manage cultural identity. If you master the skills to manage relationships and cultural identity in a workplace, the outcome will be phenomenal.

    Cultural Awareness Training (CAT)

    ATO engaged an Indigenous business to develop and deliver a tailored and culturally appropriate training package for all staff. This is a great example of both diversity in our procurement and helping staff understand and appreciate Indigenous culture.

    The ATO identified a need to review and enhance its internal Cultural Awareness Training package. We adopted an open approach to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We partnered with a number of local communities to deliver this important program. We use face-to-face sessions, work with communities to advance our joint vision of closing the gap and increasing the employment and retention of Indigenous staff.

    We will continue to build the foundations to better educate and support the staff through training and conversations. The program is pivotal in our strong leadership role across government in supporting Indigenous businesses. Local communities have worked closely with us to identify what people wanted to learn and their preferred learning style.

    Senior Level Immersion Training Program

    Showcasing a Senior Executive Service (SES) and Executive Level (EL) staff members, who have participated in the Jawun program.

    This program is for employees to undertake a six-week placement in an Indigenous community organisation. The goal of the secondment is to build Indigenous organisational capability and to provide practical assistance to the community. It is a unique development opportunity to build and share skills, knowledge and experience, and to foster economic and social development in Indigenous communities.

    Fifty-one ATO leaders have participated in the program across 10 regions since 2013. They will continue to use their skills and expertise to support Indigenous organisations in remote regions.

    An important flow-on effect is that participating leaders, including our three Indigenous Champions, have a life changing experience which changes their perspective on the importance of culture at the ATO.

    Katie Welsh’s story

    As a senior leader in the ATO, I was lucky to participate in a 2016 senior-level Jawun secondment in the Kimberley – one of the most spectacular regions in the world. I knew it would give me the ability to immerse myself in a different environment and work with some wonderful people. Importantly, I wanted to know what I should be asking, as a leader, to ensure Indigenous businesses, and people, get the help they need.

    The eight weeks was one of the best experiences of my life. I learnt so much about Aboriginal culture. Living in one of the most remote parts of Australia, I observed strong community leaders. I also learnt about Indigenous businesses and the challenges they face in remote areas.

    Working for the Kimberley region Aboriginal organisation, Aarnja, I worked on an economic development strategy for Aboriginal people in the region. It aimed to ensure they benefited from the significant economic development in the region. I interviewed a number of successful businesses to understand what made them successful, despite the challenges they face. It was a fascinating different lens for me on successful business in Australia.

    Examples of my learnings include:

    • The importance of engaging through stories. Don’t rush discussions or consultations and give people the time to share their views.
    • One size does not fit all. The APS is there to serve all Australians, including those in remote areas.
    • Thinking how to better partner with others to deliver services. It doesn’t always need to be the ATO delivering services.
    • When removed from normal APS life, you realise how process-bound we are and how far we can be from things on the ground. It forced me to look for efficiencies in how we do things and to user-test at every opportunity. Asking ‘how might that new service play out for an Indigenous business in remote WA?’.

    Hearing the Dreamtime story of the Seven Sisters told by a local Aboriginal leader was certainly one of the highlights of my trip. I bought some Aboriginal artwork depicting this story, so I can always remember this special experience.

    While in the Kimberley, I was outside my comfort zone and in my learning zone. It reminded me of the fun of learning something new, starting afresh, and applying your skills to an unfamiliar world. I have returned and been able to influence support for Indigenous business and had the privilege of working closely with some of our Evergreen staff.

    I can’t recommend the Jawun secondment program highly enough. It gives a perspective that changes your world view.

    Simon Paton’s story

    I wanted to participate in a Jawun program for some time, but what I gained from it was far more powerful and important than I expected.

    I realised, on my return to Canberra, how disconnected many in the ATO are from remote Australia and Indigenous people. Jawun provided a bridge between Aboriginal culture and experience and my own. Based in Canberra and connected to the heart of the ATO, I rarely gave much thought to how remote Australian’s might regard our organisation or our work. What struck me is that we are very far from understanding the thinking of remote Australians, especially Indigenous people.

    Jawun allowed me to comprehend Australia’s remarkable and proud Indigenous heritage. I came away understanding it’s our Aboriginal heritage which is more relevant to being Australian than those English constructs from which many their compass points. The Yolngu people of North-East Arnhem Land have tradition, culture and a connection which spans 50,000 years. Their humble and resourceful simplicity has ensured survival for millennia and their experience is uniquely Australian.

    My Jawun reminded me of my responsibility to articulate Indigenous Australian’s extraordinary insight into Australia’s ancient past. We can learn from their patience, wisdom, humility and their suffering. Australians everywhere can be the better for it.

    Jawun has changed how I see our country and its people. If you have the chance, take it and discover something special and profound.

    Events – Meet the supplier

    We hosted this event for ATO and other Commonwealth Agencies to come together, make connections, and develop business relationships with Indigenous suppliers.

    The ATO co-hosted a Meet the Supplier event in 2016. It was held in conjunction with Cushman & Wakefield, our property service provider, and launched the Kembla Corporation’s service offer to government. The event supported the ATO’s Supplier Diversity Strategy and promoted the Indigenous Procurement Policy.

    Meet the Supplier events break down barriers between commonwealth procurement officers and Indigenous businesses to build upon, or develop, relationships with Indigenous suppliers.

    These events promote Indigenous businesses, showcasing the capability of the sector. It builds on commitments set in previous RAPs, ensuring we include Indigenous businesses and value their input.

    85 people from government and corporate sectors attended. Stalls from more than 14 Indigenous businesses showcased property-related goods and services ranging from furniture, IT equipment, to building support services, including those frequently purchased by government.

    Events – Gosford community engagement

    The Gosford Community Engagement exemplifies our efforts to reach out to Traditional Custodians and hold a Welcome to Country at a significant event. It is reflective of initiatives set in previous RAPs to ensure we included Indigenous communities, valuing their importance, showing respect and inclusion at events like these.

    The ATO opened a new office in Gosford – our first new location in nearly 30 years - in December 2017.

    A bulk recruitment process, prior to opening, included information sessions to inform the local community about opportunities on offer. These included our affirmative measures for recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    After opening we organised a community event to engage with the Central Coast region. Small businesses, tax professionals, members of the public and VIPs including Lucy Wicks, Federal member for Robertson and Taylor Martin, MLC, attended.

    This event was organised with the local Darkinjung people to help create respect and build networks with the local Indigenous community. Christine Hammond, Chairperson of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, performed a Welcome to Country at our first community session - attended by several other Darkinjung elders. Christine’s Welcome to Country provided a historical account of how this protocol came to be, which many guests had never heard. Guests commented that her speech was not only moving, but added insightful context to this ritual.

    Furthermore, in the spirit of reconciliation and in accordance with the ATOs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Protocols Guide, Deputy Commissioner, Sue Sinclair, included an Acknowledgment of Country during her introduction of each session.

    An ATO staff member from our Workplace Diversity team talked to guests and answered questions on inclusion and diversity.

    Since this event, we have continued to be in contact with the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council to discuss how to further engage with the local Indigenous community.

    Celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures

    An initiative driven by an SES Indigenous Champion held in Brisbane March 2017. The aim was to ensure appreciation of culture is celebrated outside NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week (NRW).

    Closing the Gap, a key priority for government and the ATO, aims to reduce existing inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

    Held on 13 March, the Brisbane celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures event included representatives from 21 Australian Public Service (APS) organisations and more than 60 ATO staff. It celebrated Indigenous culture, with attendees sharing stories and experiences, and learning how to build an inclusive and supportive work environment.

    Ramez Katf, ATO Chief Information Officer (CIO), said the event was a great opportunity to celebrate Indigenous cultures and better understand the opportunities and challenges relating to Indigenous employment in the APS.

    Mandy Turner from Attorney-General's Department observed that the entertainment was amazing and the panel discussion was very powerful.

    The celebrations and performances on the day included:

    • Welcome to Country in an Indigenous dialect presented by members of Nunukul Yuggera.
    • Indigenous dance performed by Wagga Torres Strait Islander Dance Company
    • Panel discussion and reflection on the employment experiences of Indigenous staff, chaired by ATO CIO Ramez Katf.

    Laura Kingi from the Department of Health said she enjoyed sharing her story and meeting other attendees.

    'I believe we have momentum to keep these events going with hosts from varying Departments... fingers crossed, Health could have an event happening soon,' she said.

    Celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures – NAIDOC 2017

    Several members of Moondani, the ATO’s Indigenous employee network, formed a committee to host ATO NAIDOC celebrations. All staff were encouraged to attend.

    Matthew Gall’s story

    I am a Palawa man, born in Smithton in lutruwita (Tasmania) of mixed ancestry.

    I came to my place in the ATO via the Evergreens program, which I heard about in an email my father sent me.

    As a Palawa man, I often find it difficult to share the profoundly-Aboriginal perspective of my peers. I have found the opportunity and support of both my ATO workmates and the organisation itself has allowed me scope to discover much about my culture. For this, I am grateful.

    I leveraged my graphic design and problem-solving skills to take advantage of whatever opportunities I could find. These skills lead to my current role in ASAP; designing and building exciting and interesting solutions in automation.

    I was, and remain, excited to see Moondani flourish and grow into a vibrant and powerful network. Within the network, I was able to really get a sense of where our people were in the ATO and we are contributing. I also lent my design skills to the group, mostly in event posters.

    I helped organise the 2017 NAIDOC event where I was responsible for the technical aspects of the day. I found the most memorable contribution I made, however, was speaking at the event. I had organised for my Auntie to make a keynote address, since she is a driving force in the resurrection of Palawa Kani, our lost language. She was unable to make the trip and it fell to me. I remember writing a speech and feeling very clever about it but on the day it just didn’t resonate. I dropped it and just talked.

    Appendix 2 – Timeline of achievements

    2007–2009

    • The first ATO RAP for 2007–09 was created in line with a growing community need for inclusion of Indigenous Australians.
    • We successfully implemented 9 of 11 deliverables set in the 2007–09 RAP to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
      • Assisted students career choices by providing mentors and work experience for students through the QLD School to Work Sponsorship Scheme.
      • Increased readership of the Yarn Time Newsletter amongst tax officers effectively promoting success stories of our initiatives.
      • Established two specific entry-level employment programs, the Cadetship and Entry-Level Traineeship programs.
      • Increased number events and festivals organised by ATO and attended by ATO staff.
      • More than 2,300 people accessed our Tax Help program with training provided to volunteers in Galiwinku, Elcho Island, Tennant Creek and Moogji communities.
      • Increased tax enquiries on tax affairs resulting in processing approximately 8,000 TFN applications each year.
      • Developed an overarching strategy with an integrated approach for sustained engagement in the tax system.
      • Development and implementation of an ATO cultural awareness package.
      • Publication of internal communications encouraging staff to watch the national apology to the Stolen Generations.
       
    • Introduced Acknowledgements of Country to Traditional Custodians and improvement of this practice.

    2010–13

    • The second RAP built on the achievements of the first, continuing our path forward and building reconciliation at an organisational level. This RAP represents our ongoing commitment to the national program of reconciliation action.
    • We saw the RAP as a catalyst to build trust, effective relationships, and a sense of belonging for all Australians. Future plans included providing employment and career development opportunities, developing programs and services, and increasing the cultural capacity of the ATO.
    • We continued our journey and achievements:
      • Increase in our recruitment.
      • Launched our Evergreen Indigenous Pathways employment initiative providing skills and a career pathway whilst strengthening our workforce.
      • Launched the online cultural awareness package during NAIDOC week, and encouraged all staff to complete it as a part of their learning and development plans.
      • Worked across government and with the community to better understand needs to assist engagement with the tax system.
      • Provided services such as The ATO Indigenous Helpline and The ATO Indigenous Resource Centres operating from our Alice Springs, Darwin, and Perth sites.
      • Developed and improved our dedicated webpage ato.gov.au/indigenous with a range of information brochures to provide help.
      • Commenced participation in the Jawun Program for senior employees to undertake a six-week placement in an Indigenous community organisation. The secondment builds Indigenous organisational capability and provides practical assistance to the community. It’s a unique development opportunity to build and share skills, knowledge and experience, and to foster economic and social development in Indigenous communities.
       

    2014–17

    • Our third RAP captures what we’ve learnt and introduces new initiatives to create better financial futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – now, and for generations to come.
    • This RAP contributes to government programs, such as Closing the Gap and the Council of Australian Governments’ National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation, by providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop their financial literacy and supporting employment.
    • We are proud to have made several achievements.
    • 2,497 ATO staff undertook cultural awareness training through face-to-face workshops, e-learning or immersion program.
    • Increased the target from 5% to 20% of employees to complete the cultural awareness training annually.
    • Improved our online cultural awareness package to increase staff knowledge and understanding of the cultures, customs and experiences of Indigenous Australians.
    • Entered into contracts to the value of $69,368,479 with Indigenous businesses.
    • Provided over $550,000 in value pro bono services.
    • Awarded Government Member of the Year category at the Supply Nation Awards in 2016.
    • Engaged in promotion and support for National Reconciliation Week through social media, Welcome to Country ceremonies, acknowledgment of Traditional Custodians, speeches by Elders and guest speakers, and cultural activities across our sites.
    • Raised awareness for our RAP though social media accounts, community events such as NAIDOC week, and the Aboriginal Enterprise Expo in Melbourne.
    • Produced the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Protocols Guide for managers and staff, providing information on culturally significant events and dates, respectful communication advice, and promotion of our RAP.
    • Developed ATO Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017–2019.
    • Representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at 2% in 2016–17.
    • Celebrated NAIDOC with 18 site events, including Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies, presentations by Elders and guest speakers, plus interactive cultural activities, video screenings, jewellery and art display, and traditional foods.

    Presented a new initiative driven by an SES Indigenous Champion, with the aim to ensure appreciation of culture is celebrated outside NAIDOC and NRW.

    • Since inception in 2013, 51 ATO employees have participated in the Jawun immersion program in 10 regions across Australia. We have had at least one of our Jawun secondees in each of these regions.

    2018–20

    Throughout our RAP efforts, we have consistently aimed to improve employment opportunities, provide assistance, and embed cultural understanding and respect throughout our organisation.

    On the strengths of our proud achievements so far, our refreshed Stretch RAP challenges us to continue moving forward on our reconciliation journey with a strong focus on unity and inclusion, making the tax system fair and accessible for everyone.

    Appendix 3 – Example of building culturally appropriate services

    The ATO worked with Aboriginal design agency Marcus Lee Design, to develop the ATO’s cultural imagery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. This imagery will be tailored and used on communication products for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.

    Action 10. All products targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are consistently themed in a culturally appropriate manner

     

     General audience

     

     Individual audience

     

     Business audience

     

     Not-for-profit audience

     

     Evergreen tree

    Footnote 1
    Tax Help is in all capital cities and many other places in Australia from July to October each year. Appointments can be made via the Indigenous Helpline 13 10 30.

    Return to footnote 1 referrer

    Footnote 2
    The role of Indigenous Liaison Officers (ILO) is to provide people management advice and support to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Staff.

    Return to footnote 2 referrer

    Last modified: 06 Dec 2018QC 57547