The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which focuses on "connection to country".

Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, AILA’s Reflect RAP will facilitate the development of a deeper level of respect in its members and staff for Traditional Custodians and their relationship with the landscape.  

“As built environment professionals who engage with land, places, cultures, history, people, natural systems and built context, landscape architects seek to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures," says AILA president Linda Corkery. 

"The development of AILA’s RAP allows us to better advocate for a ‘Connection to Country’ approach to landscape planning, design and management on all our projects, in varying contexts and across many scales.” 

“AILA is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse profession by encouraging and supporting our members to expand their cultural awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.”

Aunty Ruby Sims, a Wangerriburra and Mununjali Elder, commended the Connection to Country Committee for the culturally sensitive approach taken when developing the RAP which enabled her and other Cultural Ambassadors to have a meaningful input to its construct. 

“The good will of everyone on the Committee, and the way in which our relationships have been established allow for respect of cultural protocols. It was an innovative approach,” she says. 

“The RAP will provide a great opportunity for the industry to embed thinking about our culture into everyday practice and increasing the involvement of our people in this industry,” says Paul Herzich, a Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia and an AILA Registered Landscape Architect.