MEAA’s commitment to reconciliation
An indispensable part of our story telling is the history and experience of First Nations people. As we know, it is a history marked largely by dispossession and ignorance of their lived experience.
MEAA openly acknowledges these facts.
Acknowledgement of Australia’s First Nations history is a valuable part of the reconciliation process. It is equally important – if not more so – that the union act on its principles and change the way it operates to represent and project the undeniably immense talents of First Nations members and others in the artistic and media communities.
In recent times, MEAA has established an Indigenous Caucus (ICMEAA), improved First Nations representation on its key Section Committees and assisted with the launch of the Aboriginal Press Club. We are also now fortunate to have Elaine Crombie and Nathalie McLean employed as First Nations First Peoples Organisers.
Although these are critical steps, to properly acknowledge history and open ourselves up to overdue change, the union’s principal governing body, Federal Council committed to the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
This RAP represents both a solidification of our efforts to date and critically, the new steps we will take to engage and represent our First Nations members.
These steps include education of union staff, changes to union protocols and practices in how we do business and measuring the progress we make.
The work effort in this RAP will be steered by a RAP Working Group. This group will ensure that we hit our marks and stay on song.
This will be MEAA’s first RAP. It will last for 12 months, at which time we will produce a more detailed RAP with extended commitments in our areas of operation and community engagement.
I commend this RAP to you all. It is a concrete step towards MEAA’s role as a partner in reconciliation.
Artwork: ‘Pathway to the Stars’ by Riki Salam, We are 27 Creative