Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Reconciliation Action Plans provide jobs and build awareness

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

A new report shows nearly 14,000 Indigenous Australians have gained jobs in the past 18 months with support from a program run jointly by the Gillard Government and Reconciliation Australia.

Released today, Reconciliation Australia’s Impact Measurement Report 2011 highlights the successes of the Reconciliation Action Plan Program and the progress it has made towards improving relationships, respect and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

As at 30 September 2011, organisations with a Reconciliation Action Plan Program had filled nearly 1,000 Indigenous apprenticeships and traineeship positions. In addition, the program has given 170,000 Australians access to cultural awareness training.

The Gillard Government has invested $10.8 million over three years to help Reconciliation Australia continue education and awareness programs to build the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

There are 280 organisations with a Reconciliation Action Plan in place, including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Qantas, News Limited, and KPMG, and more than 50 Australian Government organisations. This means more than 1.4 million Australians work or study in organisations committed to promoting greater respect and recognition for Indigenous Australians.

The Gillard Government has also recently entered into a two-year contract to support Reconciliation Australia through the Indigenous Workforce Development Project.

The $1.3 million project runs to November 2013 and will help in the engagement of up to 40 organisations.

It is funded under the Gillard Government’s $650 million Indigenous Employment Program – which is already delivering excellent results.

The Indigenous Employment Program has placed 70,800 Indigenous Australians in a job or a training course over the past two and half years. The 32,800 job placements in this time have exceeded the program’s targets by 14 per cent.

The Gillard Government has also committed $50.7 million over four years to deliver 6,400 school based traineeships for Indigenous students, through the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathways Program.

Providing more education and work opportunities is a key element of the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

Reconciliation Action Plans recognise that all Australians can work together to build a better future for Indigenous Australians and underscore the vital role business and corporations can play in helping to increase job opportunities.

The Government congratulates all the participant organisations and Reconciliation Australia for showing their commitment to reconciliation by developing a plan that acknowledges the unique role they can play in helping to close the gap.

For a copy of the Reconciliation Australia’s Impact Measurement Report 2011, visit