Build Relationships with Community

704 schools and early learning services have added this Action to their RAP.

Schools and early learning services should build relationships with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community that are built on mutual respect, trust and inclusiveness. These relationships help to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous staff, students, children and community members.

Building relationships and working together with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is essential for the success of your RAP, as well as developing a deeper understanding of Australia’s First Peoples.

Working relationships between schools or early learning services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members should be built on trust, mutual respect and inclusiveness. Communication, collaboration and consultation are also key to sustaining successful partnerships with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  

As with any relationship, it may take time to get to know each other and to be able to create an atmosphere of safety and trust, in order for all parties to express views openly and honestly. It is also important not to put too much pressure on community members to be involved, bearing in mind that it is generally most respectful to establish a relationship with the community before asking community members to contribute to activities in your school or early learning service. Strong examples of reconciliation in education tend to be founded on a commitment to building sustainable, transformational relationships rather than short-term, 'transactional' relationships.  

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