Working towards a better, more inclusive and fairer Australia.
As an Australian-owned business with a vision to change the way people see the world, Intrepid is committed to reconciliation and strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples. While Intrepid might have done a lot to empower communities, businesses and our partners around the world over the years, there’s still a lot for us to do here at home.
What is Reconciliation?
According to Reconciliation Australia, reconciliation is an ongoing journey geared towards strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. Their vision of reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.
What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?
A Reconciliation Action Plan is a strategic plan that helps organisations identify how they can make a genuine contribution to reconciliation through their business. It’s an exciting path towards Intrepid becoming a better and more supportive partner of First Nations people, and ultimately building a fairer and more just Australia.
We worked with First Nations consultants and advisors to release our first ‘Reflect’ RAP in 2019, a framework to work towards reconciliation. This RAP has helped guide many of our actions– ensuring cultural training for our Australian-based staff, acknowledgements of country in-office and on-site, and a focus on listening and learning from First Nations people and cultures. Our ‘Innovate’ RAP was officially endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in early 2020 and will guide us on the next phase of our 4-stage commitment. It tackles specific actions we will take as a travel company, employer and community partner to ramp up our commitment to reconciliation.
Our RAP helped us developed a partnership with Reconciliation Australia and will see us reflect on our current situation, listen to and learn from First Nations perspectives and work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our RAP is built around the four key pillars of:
Governance and tracking progress
Each of these four pillars is broken down into individual actions, all of which are set against timelines, so we can make gradual progress towards a common goal and be held accountable every step of the way. The full plan is available for everyone to see, so you can hold us accountable too.
How it works
Our RAP impacts all areas of our Australian business. Our RAP Working Group meets regularly and comprises staff from across Intrepid. We involve First Nations advisors to ensure a diverse representation and a range of voices inform our reconciliation journey.
To bring the plan alive, we commissioned local Koori artist Robert Young to create a mural in our Melbourne head office, which includes a map of Aboriginal Nations across South East Australia. We begin all of our major events with an Acknowledgement of Country or invite a local Elder to Welcome us to Country. And we removed alcohol from our sunset visits on Uluru trips, out of respect for the sacred site and Traditional Custodians.
More broadly, the RAP means actively partnering with more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations to create opportunity. For example, in 2018 we made a 3-year commitment to support Indigenous land management in the Northern Territory through our carbon management program. It means raising awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events and celebrations among our staff and travellers and providing our staff with the resources to soak up that knowledge.
It means developing a business case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within Intrepid, engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in travel, training more local guides, sourcing goods and supplies from more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers, and incorporating more First Nations-owned organisations into our own current itineraries and products.
All of these initiatives and more are accounted for and will be tracked and measured, both by us and by Reconciliation Australia. We commit to publishing an annual scorecard showing our progress.
Introducing our RAP artwork
As part of our ongoing reconciliation journey, we asked artist Dixon Patten, a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man who was born and raised in what is now known as Melbourne, to create a piece of art that symbolised the importance of reconciliation and our journey as part of the reconciliation movement. The artwork Dixon created for the cover of our ‘Reflect’ RAP represents connection, journey, community, respect for Country and walking together in unity. And the ‘Innovate’ RAP artwork shows Intrepid’s journey so far and represents two-way learning, cultural strength and resilience and valuing culture.
Australia trips with First Nations experiences