Adelaide Fringe’s Innovate RAP Report
Thu, Oct 12 2023
The past two years have been a pivotal time in Adelaide Fringe in the ongoing journey of reconciliation as the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan was developed.
We have, and continue to be committed to creating space to listen, unlearn and relearn true Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories; to hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices; to pay respects to celebrate and champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions.
Adelaide Fringe has been filled with enthusiasm and pride having obtained an endorsed Innovate level Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) from Reconciliation Australia. We are thrilled to present the advancements and insights from the RAP and introduce this document as a reflection of our dedication to sharing progress and knowledge within the wider community.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan is built on four fundamental pillars: Relationships, Respect, Opportunities, and Governance. In each of these areas, we have experienced growth and development across all operations at Adelaide Fringe.
Adelaide Fringe is committed to creating and nurturing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, artists and audiences that are meaningful and enduring. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do and guides our decision making, we will continue to champion the needs of our stakeholders in order to support them.
Adelaide Fringe has been working to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations. This includes formalising existing engagement opportunities, which is important to recognise the significant impact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have in our festival.
Over the past 12 months, these are just some of the ways we have formally engaged with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders:
- Adelaide Fringe contracted multiple Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists during Welcome Ceremony event in 2022 and 2023
- Adelaide Fringe contracted Kuma Kaaru and Ngangki Warra to produce Welcome to Countries recordings resources in 2022
- Adelaide Fringe contracted Living Kaurna Cultural Centre as a venue for Adelaide Fringe HQ staff during 2022 planning days
- Ongoing engagements with Deaf Aboriginal and Deadly Deaf Hands
- Formalised contracts with Deadly Management to develop Adelaide Fringe diversity and inclusion space
- Formalised contracts with Tjindu and KSJ as Adelaide Fringe RAP consultants
- In 2023, 6.3% of shows registered with Adelaide Fringe showcased creatives who identify as First Nations and 21.5% of grants were distributed to First Nations recipients.
- Adelaide Fringe organised and registered a private screening of Sweet As (film written and directed by Indigenous Australian woman Jub Clerc) for staff and stakeholders in 2023.
- The Adelaide Fringe marketing team participated in a Paint & Sip with Arabana & Kokatha artist Mail Isobel at Glenelg Winter Arts Festival during NAIDOC Week 2023.
- The Adelaide Fringe RAP Working Group attended and participated actively at a NRW breakfast event held in 2022 and 2023.
- The Adelaide Fringe staff and RAP committee members attended the Reconciliation SA Gala Dinner in October 2022 and September 2023.
Since the inception of a Reconciliation Action Plan Adelaide Fringe has been committed to recognising the diversity of the South Australian Community. In a constant pursuit to learn and evolve, Adelaide Fringe has included a field in the venue registration process for venues to identify which First Nations language, social or nation group they operate on.
In 2023, Adelaide Fringe took place across 11 different traditional language, social and Nation groups: Barngarla, Bodaruwitj, Bunganditj, Kaurna, Meru, Narungga, Ngadjuri, Ngarrindjeri, Nhawu, Nukunu and Peramangk. These Nation groups were communicated to audiences in the 2023 Official Adelaide Fringe Guide.
Respect is the foundation for positive relationships and successful partnerships. As Australia's biggest arts festival, Adelaide Fringe embraces our responsibility as leaders in building and growing respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who we work and connect with. We are committed to an ongoing and genuine desire to learn, grow and value First Nations peoples, wisdom, cultures and customs. Ways in which we have nurtured respect and cultural safety at Adelaide Fringe is through:
- Adelaide Fringe provides yearly Cultural Awareness training sessions for staff with the Tjindu Foundation.
- A Welcome / Acknowledgment of country is performed at all Adelaide Fringe produced events.
- Adelaide Fringe participants are provided Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country guidelines and protocols.
- Adelaide Fringe collaborated with Support Act to provide First Nations artists with counselling sessions during the 2023 Festival.
The 2023 NAIDOC Week theme was ‘For Our Elders’, which was communicated externally across all Adelaide Fringe channels. Additionally, Adelaide Fringe had a stall at the NAIDOC Week Family Fun Day in Tarntanyangga and Fringe staff also joined the NAIDOC SA March.
Adelaide Fringe continues to make funding available from the Fringe Fund to support First Nations works at Fringe. In 2023, $150,000 in grants were awarded to First Nations participants.
Adelaide Fringe strives to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to perform within our festival so that their stories can be told to our audiences and also to provide opportunities for career development within the arts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We also acknowledge that we must work harder to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within our festival as we have a responsibility to create access to our platform so that we can share in and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories. The stories that are shared on Adelaide Fringe stages enrich the lives of people from all walks of life.
- Adelaide Fringe maintains an ongoing partnership with AFL SportsReady, offering year-long traineeship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Adelaide Fringe created a strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention, and professional development, which is currently being implemented.
- Adelaide Fringe follows a comprehensive review of job vacancy advertisements, and has taken the initiative to include a line explicitly encouraging applicants from ATSI candidates.
- Adelaide Fringe will be introducing a procurement strategy that requires obtaining quotes from three businesses when seeking new services and one of the quotes must be from a First Nations business.
- Adelaide Fringe has partnered with Supply Nation, providing Adelaide Fringe staff with the ability to log onto the platform and procure goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
- Executive Director - Programs & Development has planned a trip to Darwin to work with their emerging artists engagement piece, and heading to Yirramboi in Melbourne in May 2024
- Adelaide Fringe internal working group comprising of senior leaders were held monthly
- RAP is a standing agenda item for at least four Adelaide Fringe board meetings per year
- Adelaide Fringe upholds a monthly internal working group, comprising of our senior leaders, to nurture the growth and progress of the Adelaide Fringe RAP
- Adelaide Fringe holds a Cultural Leave policy (public holidays in lieu)
Adelaide Fringe understands that the Voice to Parliament is a focus for First Nations peoples currently and are mindful to not add more pressure of community consultation into a new Adelaide Fringe RAP.
The above details are just some of the activities Adelaide Fringe have achieved over the past few years, the gaining of knowledge in the First Nations space has been an enriching and empowering experience for us all. At Adelaide Fringe, we see reconciliation as a fundamental responsibility and are committed to advancing reconciliation with First Nations peoples. We look forward to continuing to work with Reconciliation Australia and First Nations peoples on the next step in our Reconciliation journey.
Hear more about our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan below.