KWM announces significant progress to Innovate RAP

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King & Wood Mallesons has released an update on the firm's progress in relation to its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (Innovate RAP). Announced at the commencement of National Reconciliation Week 2019, the update addresses the four pillars that underpin the Innovate RAP – building relationships, emphasising respect, creating opportunities and governance, tracking progress and reporting.

KWM is very pleased to have achieved significant progress against the objectives originally stated in the RAP, which was launched in June 2018. This includes:

Building relationships

  • Initiating contact with 62 Indigenous organisations and commenced partnerships with 18
  • 'Adopted' by three remote Indigenous arts centres to provide ongoing assistance and advice
  • 4 secondments of legal staff for Artists in the Black (AITB) to Kununurra, Arnhem Land and the Torres Strait

Emphasising respect

  • Launching an Acknowledgement of Country protocol in all Australian offices/meetings
  • Launching an Artists in Residence project in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra offices
  • Developing a cultural awareness program to be delivered by Indigenous consultants in Q3/Q4 2019

Creating opportunities

  • Launched the KWM Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award and awarded a $25,000 prize to winner, Teena McCarthy
  • Assisted 101 Indigenous organisations or individuals via KWM's pro bono program last FY
  • Raised more than $120,000 for Indigenous organisations via DigDeep appeals and donations

Governance, tracking progress and reporting

  • Enabled the hiring of a Partnerships Manager for NATSILS and a paralegal for AITB via KWM donations
  • Hosting major events to coincide with NAIDOC week that will explore constitutional recognition and the Uluru Statement from the Heart
  • An active participant in the Business Council of Australia's Indigenous Economic Engagement Project

Commenting on the firm's progress, Australian CEP Berkeley Cox said: "KWM continues to recognise the vital importance of reconciliation in our community and our nation and, recognising we have so much more we can and should do, we are very pleased to have come this far in relation to our RAP. Our firm strives to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to have an ongoing positive impact on Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and we will continue to strive to achieve the goals set out in this plan.  The commitment of our people on many levels to drive forward is very heartening."

Dan Creasey, head of the firm's Community Impact program and pro bono practice, said that the progress report demonstrates KWM's commitment to strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people's for the benefit of all Australians.

"Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," he continued.

The Innovate RAP is KWM's second RAP and builds on the reconciliation commitment the firm originally made in 2016. The current RAP will guide the firm's partnerships with Australia's Indigenous community through to June 2020. Please see the full update here.