Last week, Rork Projects joined forces with NAWIC ACT and Westpac to host a thought-provoking panel discussion that delved deep into the world of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) and Indigenous Procurement Policies. The event was not only an opportunity to explore these vital topics but also to engage in conversations about strategies and shared experiences that are driving meaningful progress in these critical areas.

The panel discussion brought together a diverse group of industry experts, each with their unique perspectives and insights. These experts including Evolve FM CEO, John Owens, TSA Management General Manager, Dr Therese Flapper, and NAWIC Member of the Board of Directors, Lisa (Hogben) Martello, engaged in dialogues that not only challenged traditional thinking but also encouraged growth and innovation.

One of the standout features of the event was the remarkable turnout. It was heartening to see so many industry professionals committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable future. The energy and enthusiasm in the room were palpable, underscoring the importance of these issues in our industry.

However, the pivotal point that emerged from the event was the critical role of CEOs and Managing Directors in championing change when it comes to RAPs, procurement, and engagement. The consensus was clear: reconciliation efforts need to be driven from the top to truly succeed.

“Reconciliation needs to be driven from the top; otherwise, it won’t work. If our CEOs and Managing Directors aren’t passionate about it, no one else will be,” emphasised MC and Rork Projects Co-Owner John Paul Janke.

This statement underscores the notion that leaders in the corporate world must not only endorse but also actively champion reconciliation efforts within their organizations. Without this top-down commitment, any initiatives or policies may fall short of creating real, lasting change.

The importance of CEO and MD involvement in reconciliation initiatives cannot be overstated. They have the power to set the tone, allocate resources, and create an organizational culture that values and prioritizes reconciliation. Their passion and dedication serve as a driving force, inspiring employees at all levels to get involved and actively contribute to the cause.

As the panel discussion revealed, companies that have successfully integrated reconciliation into their DNA have seen not only improved relationships with Indigenous communities but also enhanced business outcomes. They’ve demonstrated that it’s not just a moral imperative but also a smart business strategy.

This event was more than just a discussion; it was a catalyst for change. The conversations around strategies, shared experiences, and the pivotal role of CEOs and MDs in reconciliation efforts have illuminated the path forward. The message is clear: if we want reconciliation to be more than a buzzword, it must be a commitment embraced and championed from the top down. It’s not just about doing the right thing; it’s about doing the necessary thing to create a brighter and more equitable future for all.