Tamworth’s Loren Ryan is a shining example of the success of the National Australia Bank’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Ms Ryan joined NAB as a school-based trainee in 2010 while in Year 10 and worked at the local branch as a customer adviser for two years.
As part of NAB’s Reconciliation Action Plan, the company’s indigenous employment program offers trainees the chance to work one day a week in a NAB branch during school term and full-time in school holidays.
After her traineeship was completed, she accepted a role as relief customer adviser, covering nine NAB branches in the North West.
Ms Ryan said the school-based traineeship had made a huge difference to her life.
“It has prepared me so much by helping to build an insight into how businesses function, giving me good money and budgeting skills and helping me become more professional,” she said.
Reconciliation Australia and its Reconciliation Action Plan program are having a profound impact on increasing awareness and understanding between indigenous people and other Australians, and are significantly aiding efforts to close the disparity gap, according to the latest research.
While Reconciliation Australia’s research shows most people in Australia do not believe the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians is strong, this is not the case in organisations with a Reconciliation Action Plan.
The research is contained in two reports – the 2012 Australian Reconciliation Barometer and the Reconciliation Action Plan Impact Measurement Report 2012.
Reconciliation Australia co-chairs Tom Calma and Melinda Cilento said the barometer found that while the vast majority of Australians believed the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians was important, most did not believe it was very good, with only half of those surveyed believing the relationship was improving.
Dr Calma said while the barometer had found little significant change in attitudes nationally, there were very encouraging indicators in Reconciliation Australia’s second publication, the Reconciliation Action Plan Impact Measurement Report 2012.
Dr Calma said the benefits from Reconciliation Action Plans impacted in remote and regional areas as well as in the large urban centres of Australia.
Co-chair Melinda Cilento said 95 per cent of surveyed employees in Reconciliation Action Plan organisations believed the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous staff was good, compared with 46 per cent in the general community.