Launching our Reflect RAP

Launching our Reflect RAP

03 May 2023

On Tuesday 2nd May 2023 we launched our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at a joyful celebration filled with the voices of the amazing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait people we are privileged to work with. We were thrilled to have a Welcome to Country from Yvonne Weldon as well as incredible performances by Garabara Dance Group. We were so excited to share the space with so many members of the Story Factory community including some of the incredible educators and students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Redfern Jarjum College, Shalvey Public School and Chifley College Bidwill Campus. 

Story Factory Aboriginal Engagement Manager Raylene Hassall and Storyteller Russ Smith had a chat about the launch with Lola Forester on Koori Radio this morning. Have a listen here.

Our Co-founder and Executive Director Cath Keenan spoke on the day and said:

“We have been led throughout this process by Aunty Raylene Hassall, our Aboriginal Engagement Manager, and I want to thank her first and foremost. Because what she has always insisted on is that if a RAP is only a list of commitments – no matter how ambitious or important these may be – then it isn’t quite enough. Because creating a RAP also has to be about creating a space where we can have deep, often difficult conversations. These are conversations about power and loss; about cruelty and grief; about truth and the hiding of truths, and about almost unimaginable resilience and courage. Because it is through those conversations that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians will find a way to walk into a better future for the young people you see here today. As Ray always says, this is deep work and it’s slow. What she has been so very good at is holding this space in which we can reflect honestly and openly, and share with each other; then we can go away and come back and share some more. 

We have learnt so much from and with her, and with all our Aboriginal colleagues, who I would like to again acknowledge today. But we know this is only the beginning of a conversation. We have a long way to go; our country has a long way to go. But our commitment today, beyond the actions in this document, is to try to listen better, and to listen with more heart. I hope that the year ahead will turn out to be a momentous one for reconciliation in this country, a real turning point, and we want to do whatever small things we can to be a part of that important process.

We have thought a lot about what reconciliation means to us at Story Factory, and our answer is what you see today. It’s about centring the voices of young Aboriginal people, and hearing from them. What you see here today – the stories you hear read out, the dancers you watch, the food you eat and the songs that are sung – these are what reconciliation looks like. And isn’t it magnificent? Who could be here today and not believe in the importance of these young people’s voices? Thank you to all the amazing young people here today. You guys are gonna change the world. And we will be here, cheering you on.”