Sodexo Australia is proud to have made a 10 year commitment to sustainable change within Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities. We are also proud of our investment of over $4million during the period of our previous three RAPs
Sodexo will continue to evolve and strengthen our commitment to the delivery of meaningful outcomes in this RAP Elevate. From the start of this journey we believed and hoped that Sodexo could play some part in improving the Quality of Life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities and provide leadership in the industries in which we work. We still do.
What we came to understand was that we did not truly appreciate the wonderful impact working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would have on Sodexo, our clients and our employees. Over the next half of this commitment, we look forward to continued growth for all who participate in this and future RAPs and we commit to driving success across all three core pillars of reconciliation, Relationships, Respect and Opportunities.
Our journey so far
This is Sodexo’s fourth RAP and we now believe we are ready to move to the Elevate level. It has been mportant for Sodexo to have worked through our previous RAPs, giving us the chance to listen, learn and understand how to better work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples and to respect and work within their cultures.
We have delivered on our commitments made in previous RAPs and know we can do more. In this yarn about Sodexo’s RAP journey, we believe we can demonstrate our past commitment and achievements, be proud of the collaborations and partnerships developed, reflect on our lessons learned and most importantly present our way forward.
In 2010, we recognised the opportunity to create real benefits with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and for Sodexo, if we could find ways to better work together. As a result, our first two RAPs were focused on establishing and nurturing relationships with the Traditional Owners, Elders and communities located near Sodexo operations. Our third RAP recognised we could to do more and that we needed to deliver meaningful outcomes for communities and individuals who could, in turn, improve the wellbeing of their communities. Accordingly, we developed specific areas of focus where we could develop real targets for meaningful outcomes and measure our success.
As we have created this RAP Elevate we have reflected on our past achievements, lessons learnt, where we need to continue to focus and what else we need to do.
Our lessons learnt
Because our journey has been over a number of years, we have learnt important lessons from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures. The most significant of which is the challenge for non-Indigenous Australians to truly understand the deep connection to the land and sea, the ancient cultures or the damage of the past 200+ years. If we try hard, we may form an appreciation, gain knowledge and develop the respect due the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.
Accordingly, we have learned to listen respectfully, make time and take the amount of time required to establish and nurture relationships that honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, aim to build inclusive and meaningful relationships, invite representatives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in to our planning process and collaborative design valued solutions. We have also learnt the importance of doing what we say.
To further enhance our future RAP impact, Sodexo has, amongst other initiatives, participated in two RAP Barometer surveys, the latest in 2014, that provided us with valuable insight into the level of the company’s cultural competency.
From these and other learning opportunities we have amended our approach to our RAPs, in particular our move to this RAP Elevate.