The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) today extended its commitment to reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations peoples with the launch of its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
QPAC’s Reflect RAP has been developed in collaboration with staff, the QPAC Board, Executive Team, QPAC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and Reconciliation Australia.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said today’s launch of the Reflect RAP was a significant milestone in QPAC’s history and one the entire organisation was invested in.
“QPAC has long had a commitment to connecting with First Nations communities and providing a platform for stories, history and experiences to be shared through our programming,” Mr Kotzas said.
“This RAP is an important public statement of intent for us as an organisation to weave our reconciliation actions through all that we do, so that it becomes a constant thread throughout QPAC.
“This means more than programming First Nations content on our stages, it means looking through a First Nations lens when it comes to our entire organisation and operations touching things like procurement, recruitment, and the professional and cultural development of our teams.
“QPAC is located on Yuggera and Turrbal Country and we honour the First Nations ancestors, their spirits and legacy acknowledging that for thousands of years this Country has been a place to meet, to share stories, sing and dance.
“We believe the arts is in a unique position to enable those traditions to continue and to provide opportunities for contemporary expression. We hope to further reconciliation through building relationships and bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures together to make meaningful connections, and we see it is a privilege to step into this space with more intent than ever.”
QPAC Trustee and Chair of QPAC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group Georgina Richters said the launch of the inaugural RAP today could not have occurred without the leadership shown by the Trustees, Advisory Group, Chief Executive and Executive.
“The RAP provides a framework for QPAC and its partners to strengthen relationships with First Nations peoples and establish the best approach to advance reconciliation.”
QPAC’s Reflect RAP was officially launched by Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch MP, who also unveiled Jennifer Kent as the First Nations artist who was commissioned to create the RAP cover artwork following a Queensland-wide Expression of Interest (EOI) process.
Minister Enoch said QPAC’s Reconciliation Action Plan delivered on the Queensland Government’s Creative Together ten-year roadmap and its priority to elevate First Nations arts.
“This is an important step in advancing human rights and our Government’s Path to Treaty to create new relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.
“I commend QPAC for its leadership role in the development of this Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, and for its efforts to ensure reconciliation is at the heart of working with artists and arts organisations.
“Congratulations to First Nations artist Jennifer Kent for her beautiful artwork From Red Hues to Ocean Blues which enhances the document and its reconciliation story about Queensland.”
The Reflect RAP formalises QPAC’s reconciliation journey with practical goals set for the organisation including:
• Supporting empowerment, community connectedness and wellbeing among First Nations peoples through the arts
• Providing a culturally safe workplace and generating First Nations employment opportunities
• Supporting intergenerational cultural transmission by engaging young First Nations people in the arts
• Enabling the Queensland Government’s Path to Treaty through truthtelling, respect, and authentic First Nations cultural expression
• Providing cultural learning opportunities for QPAC audiences and staff
• Supporting economic opportunities for First Nations artists of all generations and locations throughout the State
• Fostering strong relationships with First Nations communities that promote and contribute to cultural and language expressions.
Reconciliation Australia’s RAP Framework outlines a four stage RAP process of which Reflect is the first stage. This Reflect plan will be in place for 12 months to be followed by the Innovate, Stretch and Elevate stages.
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