Reconciliation Action Plan

2018-2022 Reconciliation Action Plan

Councils Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for 2018-2022 is currently under review with Reconciliation Australia and will be available in hard copy and on the website when it has been endorsed by Council.

Council supporting reconciliation

The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program was launched by Reconciliation Australia in July 2006 as a forward-looking aspect of the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, the most successful in Australia's history, in which more than 90% of voters said "YES" to equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fellow citizens.

On Monday 30 May 2011, Cairns Regional Council formally signed the 'Statement of Commitment' to have our first RAP complete and ready for endorsement by Council in December 2011. Council is proud to be the first local government in Queensland to have had a RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. Council's current 'Innovate RAP' covers the period from October 2019 - September 2021.

Council has had a long-term commitment to reconciliation and has chosen to use the Reconciliation Australia RAP program to focus and formalise our commitment into a RAP template.  We see the benefit of demonstrating leadership in reconciliation in our region and the opportunities that come from being part of a growing RAP community.

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)?

Significant numbers of corporate, government and non-government organisations have RAPs in nearly every town and city.  As more and more councils and various organisations and businesses develop RAPs, the potential to collaborate with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations and service providers will be realised.  All it takes is local leadership!

The RAP program turns "good intentions into action" by encouraging and supporting organisations, large and small, to engage within their sphere of influence in the national effort to close the 17-year gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their fellow Australians.

  • A RAP is a tool to help Council strengthen and build positive relationships between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people within and outside the organisation.
  • A RAP provides Council with a framework/format for exploring how reconciliation can advance our business / organisational objectives – e.g. Corporate Plan, Community Plan.
  • Council's RAP is our public contribution towards the national effort by all levels of government and the private sector to close the 17-year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children – through initiatives such as Council's Indigenous Employment Strategy.
  • A RAP formalises Council's contribution by encouraging us to identify clear actions and realistic targets, as well as lessons learnt.

RAP Development Process

The RAP was originally developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the local government area, including members of Council's First Peoples Advisory Committee, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and external representatives. Council Management and staff also provided input and commitment to the projects and initiatives detailed in our RAP.

Reconciliation Australia provided comment, review and endorsement of Cairns Regional Council's Innovate RAP 2019 - 2021.


All RAPs include a commitment to publicly report and refresh annually.  Council will report each year to Reconciliation Australia on the progress of the RAP. A RAP Working Group monitors progress and assists in the implementation of projects and initiatives, and annual RAP reports will be published and made available to the wider community.

Tracking and reporting progress ensures Council and the community recognise where achievements have been made, where challenges remain and what opportunities exist for future RAP development and implementation. Council looks forward to sharing learning across the Australian community and to understanding the collective impact of RAPs on the life expectancy gap.

For download

Last updated: 09 July 2020