National Reconciliation Week - Reflection

Rachel Alembakis, Chair - U Ethical Reconciliation Working Group, reflects on U Ethical's reconciliation journey and looks ahead to what U Ethical aim to achieve in the year ahead

Reflection

The theme that Reconciliation Australia (RA) has chosen for #NRW2024 is, Now More Than Ever, which RA says “reminds us that, no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will – and must – continue.” Now More Than Ever - NRW 2024 - Reconciliation Australia

At the same time as National Reconciliation Week (NRW), we are also drawing to the close of our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and consider how we can continue the work of authentically working towards reconciliation.

According to RA, a Reflect RAP is “used to lay the foundations and prepare your workplace for future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives.” The RAP Framework - Reconciliation Australia

When we launched our first RAP last year, our Chairman Lindsay Mann noted “at U Ethical, we believe reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples is an important ethical issue for all Australians. As a leading ethical investor, we are determined to take meaningful action to advance reconciliation through our development of, and commitment to, our Reconciliation Action Plan.” U Ethical Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan | U Ethical

We can point to areas where we have fulfilled our commitments, such as providing educational material and resources for our team and verifying that our business policies and practices represent best practice in terms of anti-discrimination. We will continue to strive to meet best practice as it evolves into the future, as this is in line with our mission and purpose.

Representatives from our Reconciliation Working Group have also met with Wurundjeri Council elders to gain a deeper understanding of the local Traditional Owners or Custodians of the lands and waters in which we work here in Naarm.

These are a few examples of our work in the last year, and we are in the process of preparing our first RAP, which will be sent to RA and published publicly.

We are also deeply considering our responsibilities and commitments going forward. As a purpose-driven organisation seeking impact on the community around us, we need to ensure that what we commit to is both achievable and represents an authentic good in the community. We are a small team filled with learners who are diligent in their professional roles, and as such, we seek to devise meaningful actions for our next RAP that allows us to build on what we already do within our business, and what can represent true work on the road to Reconciliation.

As a non-profit social enterprise that is an investment manager, we believe that our impact can be in education and support in areas relating to ethical investment and financial inclusion. As we prepare our second RAP, we will focus on how to translate this thinking into forward action that is both ambitious and realistic.

We ground our actions in reconciliation as individuals, colleagues and employees of an ethical investor and we look forward to more learning on the road ahead and reflecting on what we can commit to as a team.

Article by

Ana King

Published

27 May 2024