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Defence Reconciliation Action Plan (DRAP) 2019-2022

The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan (D-RAP) 2019-2022 was launched on 14 August 2019 at the Australian War Memorial.

The D-RAP 2019-2022 outlines Defence’s commitment to reconciliation and the Whole of Government ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy.

Defence’s commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples is broader than increasing Indigenous representation in Defence. Defence is focused on enhancing and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and increasing the cultural capability of Defence’s workforce to create a culturally safe and inclusive workplace for all. We are also deeply committed to the Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy.

The D-RAP 2019-2022 focuses on three key areas of enhancing Defence’s cultural awareness, improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander retention and providing career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel.

Where have we come from?

Reconciliation Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Framework provides organisations with a structured approach to advance reconciliation. There are four types of RAP that an organisation can develop: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate.

Each type of RAP is designed to suit an organisation at different stages of their reconciliation journey.

Defence launched its first D-RAP in 2007 which focused on cultural awareness, recruitment and retention, and land environmental management. Our second D-RAP

2010-2014 focused on building an enduring foundation towards reconciliation through changing perceptions of Indigenous cultural issues, creating specialised recruitment pathways and establishing strong support networks and systems to retain Defence Indigenous personnel.

The third D-RAP 2015-2018 was a ‘Stretch’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and outlined Defence’s commitment to reconciliation through the three key areas of offering employment opportunities, providing career development opportunities and providing Indigenous businesses with contracting opportunities.


Strategic Planning

Defence is committed to creating an inclusive environment that values, respects and draws on the diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and skills of its people. Two key documents provide the framework to achieve this goal. Both documents provide the strategic level guidance for the organisation and provide the overarching guidance for service and group specific documents.

Strategic Guidance

Defence is committed to supporting and developing its Indigenous members from when they first join the organisation right throughout their careers. Defence offers a range of support programs, Indigenous specific training opportunities, formal and informal networking and special provisions for its Indigenous employees which include:

  • Secretary and Chief of Defence Force Advisory Committee (SCAC) is the peak direction-setting and decision-making body for diversity and inclusion within the Department of Defence and is accountable for ensuring the achievement of Defence’s diversity and inclusion strategies.
  • Chief of Service Committee (COSC) considers bi-annual updates on ADF Indigenous initiatives.
  • Defence Civilian Committee (DCC) monitors and provides direction on Defence indigenous civilian initiatives on a quarterly basis.
  • Defence Reconciliation Action Plan (DRAP) Working Group comprises of representatives from each group and service who provide a conduit for all members of Defence to participate in the development and implementation of DRAP 2015-18.

A number of different forums have been established to ensure Defence’s Indigenous employees can provide guidance and advice to IA and the services. They include:

  • Indigenous Cultural Advisory Group (ICAG) provides culturally appropriate advice on strategic issues, relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The ICAG also provides culturally sensitive advice across the department on all polices and matters as required.
  • The Defence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network (DATSIN) Conference is an annual forum for military and civilian Indigenous employees at all levels to network, share, learn and help shape the Defence Indigenous agenda.
  • Navy Indigenous Affairs Adviser to Chief of Navy is responsible for shaping the strategic direction for Navy Indigenous Affairs
  • Senior Indigenous Adviser to Chief of Air Force is responsible for shaping the strategic direction for Air Force Indigenous Affairs.
  • Army Indigenous Cultural Advisory Board is responsible for providing advice on, promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Army Indigenous Strategy across Army's Commands.