Adelaide Festival Centre Presents Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan

Adelaide Festival Centre will launch its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) today, furthering the Centre’s commitment to be a destination where equity thrives and First Nations people and cultures are recognised, engaged, represented and celebrated.

Staff will come together today to celebrate the Innovate RAP, an aspiring commitment to deepen relationships and establish the best approach to advance reconciliation, with a smoking ceremony and welcome to country by Jack Buckskin, and a performance by William Barton.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s Innovate RAP focuses on four areas – relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance. External advice for the RAP was sought from Bookabee Australia, a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated company.

Actions include:

  • Create opportunities for and support First Nations artists to present their work at Adelaide Festival Centre venues.
  • Actively promote value and recognition of First Nations cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning and sharing.
  • Improve employment outcomes by increasing First Nations recruitment, retention and professional development.
  • Ensure First Nations dedicated programming continues to be an ongoing strategic priority, year on year.
  • Demonstrate respect to First Nations Peoples by observing cultural protocols.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM:

Our goal is to attain unity and reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations people. This is done with the recognition that unity benefits all people and makes for a richer, stronger and more cohesive society.

As the principal performing arts venue in South Australia, we understand the power that art can play to facilitate both cultural unity and equity.

We intend to make great progress over the next two years and look eagerly towards the future when reconciliation will be an even greater driving force through our programs, activities and services to community.

Bookabee Australia Cultural Director Haydyn Bromley:

Delivering a Reconciliation Action Plan is an important step for any organisation.

I’ve been proud to assist Adelaide Festival Centre to formulate their approach and ensure their wider team is engaged in the development process and focused on meaningful actions.

I’m looking forward to seeing progress and I look forward to continuing our RAP journey through the delivery of cultural awareness training to every staff member this year. Adelaide Festival Centre’s vision for Reconciliation through unity and the power of art is welcomed.

Minister for Arts the Hon. Andrea Michaels MP:

I applaud Adelaide Festival Centre in the delivery of their inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan and look forward to seeing the Centre harness the power of the arts to amplify and celebrate First Nations cultures and histories and create a respectful place for all.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s public commitment to reconciliation began in 2002, with the installation of the Kaurna Reconciliation Sculptures. Dedicated to the Kaurna People as a reconciliation gift recognising their ownership and custodianship of the Adelaide Plains, the sculptures were designed in consultation with Kaurna community by Kaurna artist Eileen Karpany and Aboriginal artist Darren Siwes with Tony Rosella. Initiated and funded by The Graham F Smith Peace Foundation with the support of public donations, they were sculpted by Donato Rosella. The plaza reopened in 2022 with the sculptures taking pride of place at the Festival Theatre entrance, as a symbol of the centre’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

Since 2006, the annual OUR MOB: Art by South Australian Aboriginal Artists has provided a platform for contemporary First Nations artists to share their stories, ideas and art with audiences. More recently, First Nations stories are also shared through the addition of OUR WORDS and OUR STORIES.

In 2020, Adelaide Festival Centre partnered with the South Australian Museum and the Bridging the Gap Foundation to launch a school-based traineeship program for First Nations high school students. The traineeships provide opportunity for two young First Nations people to gain in-depth knowledge, hands-on experience, and an understanding of the Festival Centre’s operations and programs, over a two-year period.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE and firstSPACE development programs provide a vehicle for First Nations contemporary and innovative theatre, dance and hybrid performance artists to access venues and services within Adelaide Festival Centre. firstSPACE is a residency program for First Nations creators of new and original work.

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