Australia: Our RAP Actions 2011 – 2012
Last Updated: 24 March 2012

RELATIONSHIPS

1.Promote organisational buy-in of our RAP to enable successful realisation of our RAP actions and objectives across the firm. Include Reconciliation on the agenda of our Diversity Group – chaired by our Managing Partner in Australia.

2.Attendance at Garma Festival Women's Group, organised by Reconciliation Australia to gain further understanding and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and ways to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

3.Promote Reconciliation amongst clients, staff and communities. Identify an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culturally significant event to celebrate and invite partners and staff to participate in during 2012.

RESPECT

4.Deliver a series of cultural awareness raising opportunities, which allow our people to embark on their own cultural journeys and discoveries.

5.Implement respectful protocols for Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of the Land and Welcome to Country.

OPPORTUNITIES

Education and mentoring programs

6.Work with our focus charities and community partners, using their guidance and expertise, to develop and deliver mentoring initiatives designed to educate and inspire young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Employment and training

7.Ensure our employment and training policies support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees

of the firm as part of Human Resources best practice. We welcome and encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples into the firm.

8.Work with Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) to create reciprocal secondment opportunities for our staff with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Create opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to participate in work experience programs. Our staff will benefit through increased exposure to, and engagement with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and Communities.

9.Commission Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander art for the design of our RAP and supporting communication materials/intranet pages. Employ an artist we have been supporting through our pro bono work.

Pro bono work

11.Play leadership role to improve access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with civil legal needs. Deliver $1 million of pro bono work for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples over two years.

12.Second four pro bono lawyers to work with Artists in the Black and the Aurora Project. Artists in the Black provides free legal advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to help create and protect sustainable income streams for remote communities. The Aurora Project places lawyers into Aboriginal Native Title Representative Bodies to assist with the preparation of Native Title claims.

13.Work with NGOs to promote the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Australia's domestic law. Work with Indigenous Community Volunteers to incorporate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into our advice to, and work with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations and Communities.

Community development

14.Work collaboratively with businesses and NGOs to seek opportunities to combine efforts to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Combine the resources, skills, expertise and capacities of a number of different organisations to benefit an identified community and area of need long term.

Responsibilities and Timeframes

No Action Responsibility Timeframe
1 Promote organisational buy-in to enable successful implementation of our RAP actions and objectives across the firm. Diversity Group, led by Managing Partner, and RAP Steering Group August 2011 through to December 2012
2 Attendance at Garma Festival Women's Group. Gain further understanding and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and ways to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Member of Diversity Group August 2011 at scheduled RAP launch events in 2012 across our offices.
3 Promote Reconciliation amongst clients, staff and communities. Celebrate and support Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture. Diversity Group, RAP Steering Group, Business Development and Community Investment Manager November 2012
4 Deliver a series of cultural awareness raising opportunities. Learning and Development team with guidance from the RAP Steering Group and Reconciliation Australia September 2013
5 Implement respectful protocols for Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of the Land and Welcome to Country. Learning and Development and Office Managing Partners March 2012
6 Educate and inspire young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Community Investment Manager December 2012
7 We welcome and encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples into the firm. Our employment and training policies will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. Human Resources January 2012 through to December 2012
8 Create reciprocal secondment opportunities. Community Investment Team and Human Resources September 2013
9 Commission Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander art. Pro Bono Partner and Head of Design September 2011 through to September 2012.
10 DLA Piper lawyers to consider the impact of their legal advice on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Human Rights Lawyer September 2013
11 Improve access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with civil legal needs. Pro Bono Team September 2013
12 Create and protect sustainable income streams for remote communities. Pro Bono Partner September 2013
13 Promote the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Human Rights Lawyer September 2013
14 Promote the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Human Rights Lawyer September 2013


Measureable target
  • RAP Steering Group established, representing cross sections of departments and functions.
  • Include Reconciliation Action Plan on the agenda of our quarterly Diversity Group meetings.
  • RAP progress and implementation actions to be discussed alongside our firm's diversity initiatives and plans.


  • One senior leader to attend Garma Festival 2011.
  • Communicate experiences and learnings to our people and networks and inspire others to share and contribute to our RAP journey through 2012.
  • Hold at least three meetings with other organisations and clients working in the area of Reconciliation.


  • Host at least one discussion/networking event in each office, featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers on culturally significant topics of interest.
  • Identify an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culturally significant event to be involved with and invite partners and staff to participate in during 2012.
  • Create dedicated RAP section on firmfs intranet and internet.


  • Devise and deliver a menu of events and activities which will engage all Office Managing Partners and at least 50% of partners and staff across the firm in delivering their own cultural awareness.
  • All partners invited to inclusive leadership workshops to include sessions on 'unconcious bias' and reactions to difference in the workplace.


  • Educate staff on the importance of this protocol and why it is significant through current communication vehicles used by Managing Partner.
  • Provide necessary guidelines on respectful protocols to on firm intranet. Automatic reminder of guidelines sent with internal room/event booking confirmation emails.
  • Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of the Land to be conducted at appropriate all staff meetings and client events.


  • Develop and expand upon current youth education programs in consultation with our charity and community partners as part of DLA Piper's
  • Community Investment program.
  • Aim to deliver 'BreakThrough' program in conjunction with The Smith Family's Indigenous Programs Team and the 'Girls at the Centre' program in May / June 2012.


  • Ensure relevant support exists for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members to allow for mutual understanding and increase retention.
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals who join the firm, current employment and training policies will be adapted and employment contracts amended accordingly.


  • Work with Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) to facilitate work experience placements at DLA Piper for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and vice versa for our staff to experience working within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and Communities.
  • Organise four reciprocal placements within two years from RAP launch.


  • Employ an artist we have supported through our pro bono legal work to provide designs for our published RAP.
  • Display art in a prominent position in at least one of DLA Piper's offices.


  • Develop education and resources to build the capacity of our lawyers to consider including advice on the protection and promotion of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, where relevant.


  • Deliver $1 million of pro bono work for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples over two years.


  • Second four lawyers to work with Artists in the Black and the Aurora Project to provide legal advice.


  • Work with ICV to identify opportunities to incorporate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into our advice to, and work with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations and Communities.


  • Consult with a number of different organisations to research the potential of combining shared resources, skills, expertise and capacity to benefit an identified community and area of need.
  • Scope out possibility of funding a consultant to investigate potential of such a project and seek out organisations willing to be involved for 5 . 10 years.


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