Reconciliation with the First Australians is an important step on the road to sustainability, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), as it launches its first Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Reconciliation Action Plan, or RAP, outlines a plan to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, develop new relationships with First Australian businesses and investigate new initiatives within the Green Star rating system.
"First Australians, with a history spanning more than 60,000 years, have deep insights into building sustainable, resilient places for people that respect the natural environment," says the GBCA's CEO, Romilly Madew.
"We have spent the last 18 months consulting with the industry and a range of stakeholders. We recognise the GBCA is in a unique position to influence how reconciliation and sustainability intersect, and to examine how our industry considers reconciliation within the context of placemaking," Madew says.
"Over the next year, we will be examining how the Green Star rating system for buildings and communities can recognise and reward placemaking that honours our First Australians."
According to Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, "This Reflect RAP will assist GBCA to develop a solid RAP governance model and build the business case for future commitments to cultural learning, practicing cultural protocols, and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment."
An increasing number of GBCA members have already developed RAPs, including Lendlease, Stockland, The GPT Group and Mirvac.
"We hope to spark an ongoing conversation within our industry about the importance of reconciliation, and to showcase the actions our industry can take to embed reconciliation into our placemaking," Madew says.
On Thursday 15 March, the GBCA and Property Council of Australia will be hosting a 'Reconciliation Breakfast' as part of Green Cities 2018 in Melbourne, with Indigenous thought leaders Rueben Berg, co-founder of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria, Supply Nation's CEO Laura Berry, Andrea Mason, CEO of Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council Aboriginal Corporation, and Lendlease's Cath Brokenborough, executive lead Indigenous Engagement and RAP, exploring reconciliation in placemaking.