Synergy Group formally commits to First Nations reconciliation

04 June 2023 3 min. read
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Established in 2006, Reconciliation Australia’s RAP program has signed on more than 2,200 organisations across Australia. Synergy Group is among the latest to make a formal commitment.

Canberra-based management consultancy Synergy Group has launched its first ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to coincide with National Reconciliation Week – with this year’s theme being “Be a Voice for Generations”.

The consultancy notes however that the initial step in its ongoing journey (‘Reflect’ is the first RAP stage of four) will be to “listen and deeply understand” the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Grounded in the five core dimensions of reconciliation – race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity, and historical acceptance – the four RAP stages are designed to allow organisations to continuously develop and strengthen their commitments, with the initial twelve-month step intended as a period to define goals and lay future foundations through the establishment of meaningful relations with Indigenous stakeholders.

The ‘Reflect’ stage also asks participants to explore their sphere of influence, a point Synergy Group makes as motivating the launch of its RAP: “As our collective voice has grown and continues to expand across Australia, we want to use our influence to contribute positively to reconciliation on a national level. Our RAP is a commitment to drive positive change, support the aspirations of First Nations peoples, and turn good intentions into measurable and meaningful actions.”

Synergy Group marked its RAP launch with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony performed by Ngunnawal custodian Wally Bell, which was followed by a panel hosted by executive chair Robert Kennedy featuring Kurawali and Mbarbaram man Benny Eggmolesse of Indigenous consultancy AAK-ITHER, and Ngunnawal singer-songwriter Alinta Barlow, both of who were credited with providing invaluable insights into the development of the RAP.

“Ask questions; it’s much more important to ask than to walk around with misconceptions,” Barlow stated when quizzed on what it meant to ‘Be a Voice for Generations’ and how the firm’s 350-odd professionals could support reconciliation in a tangible way in their everyday lives, with Eggmolesse adding: “This isn’t a 9-5 relationship, you have to be part of the community and build genuine relationships early with openness and transparency.”

The launch of its RAP sees Synergy Group join more than 2,200 other corporate, government, and not-profit organisations across Australia currently undertaking formal steps toward reconciliation through the official RAP program, including fellow professional services firms such as Nous Group and Grant Thornton, which also recently launched its first iteration. KPMG (having commenced in 2009) and PwC (now into its fourth year) have progressed to the ‘Elevate’ stage.

Synergy Group reiterated that the launch of its first RAP is just one step in a longer and broader process, stating; “Our reconciliation journey is not a singular initiative. We know that this is a continuous learning journey, one built on on respect and recognition. There is so much more we can and will do through Synergy’s first RAP. We are committed to ensuring a culturally safe workplace to engage and support people to thrive when working at and with Synergy.”