From good intentions to positive action
We commit to our first Australian Reconciliation Action Plan
We took the first step on our Australian journey to support reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations with the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The plan, endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, sets in motion an ongoing effort to help raise awareness of the structural disadvantages and challenges confronting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and to partner with others to help break down the social and economic barriers to reconciliation. This is a distinctly Australian manifestation of our commitment to global citizenship and doing business responsibly.
This RAP lays the foundation—through cultural awareness and education and by partnering with and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders—for White & Case to drive true reconciliation.
Implementation has begun
Progress on implementing the plan has already started. We are joining the program run by Yalari—a not-for-profit organization that offers scholarships to indigenous schoolchildren from regional, rural and remote communities—by providing a scholarship to an indigenous secondary school student. We are also exploring opportunities to provide secondments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations and developing more pro bono matters in support of the plan, with LawHelp and other organizations. For example, we are working with Ella Havelka, the first Aboriginal dancer to join The Australian Ballet, to establish The ELLA Foundation in support of indigenous dancers.
The first step of a longer journey
Our RAP is the culmination of two years of effort by a working group comprising lawyers and support staff in our Melbourne and Sydney offices, led by partner Tim Power.
“This RAP is only the first step on a longer reconciliation journey for us,” said Tim. “It lays the foundation, through cultural awareness and education and by partnering with and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, for White & Case to drive true reconciliation.”
“On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I commend White & Case on its first RAP, and look forward to following its ongoing reconciliation journey,” wrote Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, in the introductory section of our RAP. “RAP organizations across Australia are turning good intentions into positive actions, helping to build higher trust, lower prejudice and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.”
As the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation reminded the nation in its final report: “Reconciliation is hard work—it’s a long, winding and corrugated road, not a broad, paved highway. Determination and effort at all levels of government and in all sections of the community will be essential to make reconciliation a reality.”