LEAD Professional Development Association Incorporated is proud of the history and development of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). We seek to proactively develop, implement and review our RAP as an act of best intention and commitment to identify and address areas of practice and procedure where our Association can improve in our recognition, respect and access to services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and community.

Our RAP was developed by the LEAD RAP Working Group in partnership with the LEAD Board of Directors, Executive Management and employees. LEAD also extends our thanks to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community workers and organisations that took the time to review the plan and provide feedback and recommendations for further development.

We would especially line to thank Aunty Bev Eaton for the valuable contributions she made in building on our existing RAP and transforming it into the living document it now is.

LEAD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of this land, and we pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

Our  RAP Journey

This is our fourth RAP. As part of our RAP journey we have developed a range of resources that you can use as a guide to develop your organisation’s own RAP.

Our Key RAP Learning Tips:

  • Keep your whole team (including Management and Board) informed and actively involved in your RAP via regular discussions at meetings and provide opportunities to share reflections;
  • Brainstorm opportunities to improve practice and joint cross-cultural training;
  • Allocate resources, including employee time, and budget allocations to carry out RAP planning and processes;
  • Set clear process for information sharing and decision making for the review, approval and funding of RAP Working Group recommendations;
  • Document learning, achievements and outcomes of the journey as it is happening, and share this information with others.

To start your own RAP journey we suggest you start with the Reconciliation Australia website where you can download information and templates.

You may also like to visit the Share our Pride website, an online awareness raising journey developed by Reconciliation Australia as an introductory site for employees, designed to give non-Indigenous people a glimpse into the lives and cultures of Australia’s First People.

Current Organisational Reconciliation Action Plans 

LEAD May 2023 – May 2025 Reconciliation Action Plan

Resources for working effectively with the Aboriginal Community:

For more information, please refer to our Welcome to Country Protocol and our Definition of Aboriginality Policy below:

In recognition and respect of Aboriginal people as the original inhabitants of Australia, LEAD strongly encourage this acknowledgement be included at the beginning of all LEAD training events. The following information is provided for project staff, trainers and presenters to guide consistent practice in this area.

Definitions and Requirements:

  • A “Welcome to Country” can only be delivered by a recognised local Elder from the tribal group of the area.
  • An “Acknowledgement of Country” can be delivered by either an Aboriginal or non-indigenous person.
  • For large events, such as major forums or conferences it is recommended that a formal “Welcome to Country” is arranged (NB: the local Elder will decide on the wording and format of the welcome). Ensure that an appropriate representative from the local Aboriginal community be engaged; consult local Aboriginal services / workers if required to identify the most appropriate person. Always arrange for financial contribution for the person delivering the welcome (at least $100 is recommended), and consider the need for transport support and invite them to stay for meals / celebrations etc that are happening as part of the event.
  • Cultural performances (eg: dancers or Artists, etc) may also be engaged for major events. Consult with local Aboriginal services / workers to determine appropriate arrangements and payments, etc.
  • For general training and other similar events an “Acknowledgement of Country” is sufficient and can be delivered by the Trainer / Presenter; LEAD staff or an Aboriginal person attending the event if appropriate and where they are happy to do so. No additional recompense is required in this case.

Tribal Groups:

Acknowledge the tribal group(s) recognised in the region / area of the training venue location.

RegionTribal Peoples
Blue MountainsDarug AND Gundungurra
HawkesburySome areas – Durag AND Gundungurra
Some areas – DuragConsult for confirmation or advice, phone (02) 4588 5144.
Blacktown, St Marys, Holroyd, Parramatta, The Hills, AuburnDarug
Sydney / Inner CityGadigal people of the Eora nation
Other AreasConsult with a local Aboriginal Service for confirmation or advice

‘Acknowledgement of Country’ Wording:

Wording to be used at all LEAD events, ie: when delivered by a project worker or trainer.

  • Option 1:
    “I acknowledge we are gathered on (name tribal group) land.
    I pay my respects to Elders past and present, and acknowledge with respect the Aboriginal people in the room.”
  • Option 2:
    “I acknowledge we are gathered on (name tribal group) land.
    I pay my respects to Elders past and present, and acknowledge with respect the Aboriginal friends and colleagues in the room.
    I also recognise the impacts of past and present injustice, and the role we can all play in working together towards a better future.”

1. Scope

This policy addresses concerns that may arise where a person, be that an employee, member, participant, trainer or any other stakeholder) requests clarification on the Association’s definition of Aboriginality for any purpose.

2. Definition

LEAD bases its definition of Aboriginality on currently accepted practice and community understanding that there are three criteria for confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage that are usually accepted by government agencies and community organisations. They are:

  • Being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • Identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formally lived.

3. Principles

This definition is in lien with the current practice and requirements of the NSW State Government; Federal Government; Anti-Discrimination Law Guidelines and many Aboriginal community organisations and Government agencies.

LEAD also recognises that past and present injustices against Aboriginal people has caused, and continues to cause, significant harm to individual and collective Aboriginal cultural identity. As such, LEAD proactively respects and supports the rights of individuals to be recognised as Aboriginal based on the above definition regardless of their appearance, where they live, or how they live.

LEAD further recognises that Aboriginal community and culture is a rich, diverse and evolving entity and that the definition of Aboriginality can sometimes be a complex and emotive issues within the Aboriginal community itself. As an organisation we respect the right of the Aboriginal community to explore and the debate these issues as part of community business.

4. Responsibility

All employees of LEAD are subject to the conditions of, and the adherence to, the application of this Policy.

Managers and supervisors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the Definition of Aboriginality Policy is included in the induction of all new employees;

The Executive Management Team is responsible for:

  • Modeling behaviour that complies with the Definition of Aboriginality Policy;
  • Ensuring that staff are aware of, and understand, this Policy;
  • Taking action, when appropriate, to investigate and resolve any instances where the Definitions of Aboriginality Policy may apply.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • Undertaking scheduled revisions of the ongoing development, implementation, review and improvement of the organisation’s Definition of Aboriginality Policy.

5. Review

This Definition of Aboriginality Policy is to be reviewed by the Board of Directors every two (2) years.

Failure to comply with the Definition of Aboriginality Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with the LEAD Disciplinary Procedure.