Wednesday 6 March: The Australian National Maritime Museum and Reconciliation Australia have today launched the museum’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), formalising their ongoing commitment to promoting and contributing to reconciliation.

The RAP was launched by Australian National Maritime Museum Chairman Peter Dexter and renowned historian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activist Dr Jackie Huggins.  The launch was attended by Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine, Australian National Maritime Museum Director Kevin Sumption, staff, members of the Museum’s Council, volunteers and special guests. 

Reconciliation Australia defines and measures reconciliation through five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity, and historical acceptance. 

“All sections of the community have a role to play in progressing these dimensions of reconciliation,” Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said. “The RAP framework provides an opportunity for organisations to fully engage with these dimensions and to advance reconciliation within their sphere of influence.”

“As an Australian leader in maritime history and education the Australian National Maritime Museum is well placed to drive reconciliation through its various business activities, services and programs.

“I’m delighted to welcome the Museum to our growing RAP community and look forward to following its ongoing reconciliation journey,” Ms Mundine said. 

The RAP builds on the past achievements of the Museum, to deliver on its vision for reconciliation: “A nation which understands, values and has deep respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and, especially, their maritime heritages and cultures. We aspire to be an employer of choice and preferred business partner of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” – Australian National Maritime Museum Reconciliation Action Plan.  

“The knowledge held by our First Peoples enriches the national identity, particularly in enhancing the human connection to saltwater and freshwater,” comments Alison Page, proud Walbanga Wadi Wadi woman and Councillor of the Australian National Maritime Museum. 

Karen Mundine Kevin Sumption Alison Page Dr Jackie Huggins Peter Dexter 
(L to R) Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine, Australian National Maritime Museum Director Kevin Sumption, Australian National Maritime Museum Councillor Alison Page, Historian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Activist Dr Jackie Huggins, Australian National Maritime Museum Chairman Peter Dexter. Download here. 

Symbolically, the launch took place in the shadow of the magnificent Au Karem Ira Lamar Lu - Ghost Nets of the Ocean marine ecology installation made by Torres Strait Islander and Australian artists from Erub Arts on Darnley Island, Torres Strait. 

The Museum proudly flies the Blue Mud Bay flag – powerful recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have rights over water in the intertidal areas. 

The Museum’s collection has been enriched by a high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks and cultural objects; and our narrative sharing is enhanced by working with strategic partners, grass roots community development and procurement from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities and businesses. 

The Museum is investing into enhancing the quality of information about community and language in our collection during the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages, and has created an Indigenous Advisory Committee under the museum’s new RAP to assist the Council. 

The Museum is looking forward to providing a strong platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to increasingly influence the national dialogue, and ensuring that the world’s oldest living cultures will continue to be custodians for the land and waters to ensure their health for a sustainable future. 

-ENDS-

To view and download high res photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6n248c0xvodbhbl/AAAjALVYHMf7P-aCq94gWl00a?dl=0 

Media contact

Stefania Kubowicz 
PR Manager, Australian National Maritime Museum 
M: 0418 219 841
E: stefania.kubowicz@sea.museum