Developing the University's first RAP

   RAP Convening Panel 2010

Leading to the achievement of a big agenda

The University of Melbourne RAP aims to:

  • Create a new and supportive society where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are able to realise their full potential as individuals and are fully recognised, acknowledged and respected as the original custodians of this land (the big agenda)
  • Achieve 27 specific actions (the short agenda).

VC Apology and Statement of Commitment

In his Apology to Indigenous Australians in February 2008, the Vice-Chancellor committed to using the University's of  expertise and resources in teaching and learning, research, and knowledge transfer activities to make a sustained contribution to lifting the health, educational and living standards of Indigenous Australians.

On 6 June 2010, after consultations with the University's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the Vice-Chancellor signed the University of Melbourne's Statement of Commitment to develop a RAP.

Discussions with Elders – a critical step in the RAP process

In August 2010, a Convening Panel was established, chaired by the University's Provost. The panel comprised Indigenous Elders with whom the University has had a longstanding association, along with University staff (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous), who subsequently became the RAP Working Group responsible for drafting the RAP.

The Convening Panel explored ideas and set the vision for the RAP. It met again at the end of 2010 to accept the first stage of the RAP and has since met regularly to monitor and advise its progress.


Six areas for action

Six key result areas relevant to the full range of University activities were developed to inform the direction of Indigenous strategy across the University over the first three years of the RAP

1    Partnerships for Indigenous development
2    Cultural recognition
3    Indigenous student recruitment and selection
4    Teaching and learning strategies
5    An Indigenous research agenda
6    Indigenous staff employment.

Faculty strategies developed

Next, faculty strategies were developed to support the University Action Plan. These strategies were then incorporated into the University's business planning cycle with each of the faculties developing their own Indigenous Student and Staff plans. This devolution of responsibility to faculties for RAP targets and outcomes has been a critical feature in implementing the University RAP and has enabled different areas of the University to craft actions and projects that meet the specific needs of their discipline area.

Consulting with staff and students to develop RAP 1

During second semester in 2010, the RAP Working Group oversaw a consultation and drafting process involving staff and students in both face-to-face meetings and an online process to receive comment and feedback on the draft RAP.

Ratification of RAP 1

The final draft was reviewed by the Convening Panel and then approved by Senior Executive in December 2010. Final sign-off by Reconciliation Australia was received in early 2011.


Vice-Chancellor's Apology to Indigenous Australians

Statement of Commitment to develop a RAP

Overview of the 2011–2013 RAP

The University of Melbourne RAP 2011–2013 (full document)