RAP Wrap Up for 2022

Mon, Dec 12 2022
Adelaide Fringe has been excited and proud in its first 12 months of obtaining a Reconciliation Australia endorsed Reconciliation Action Plan. Adelaide Fringe’s ‘Innovate’ level RAP is part of an ongoing journey that includes learning, relearning and evolving to put First Nations people, groups and values first. We are extremely pleased to share with you the progress and learnings from the first year of our RAP. Through blog posts such as this we aim to illustrate a commitment to sharing our progress and our learning with the greater community.

Welcome Ceremony - Kumangka Palti Yarta. Photo: Jack Fenby, 2022 

Our Reconciliation Action Plan, or RAP focuses on 4 key aspects: Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance. 


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. Some examples of formal engagement which have taken place over the past year include: 
  • A contract with Deadly Management to work with us in the Diversity & Inclusion space
  • Sleep on Country with Uncle Moogy Sumner
  • Living Kaurna Cultural Centre hosting Adelaide Fringe’s staff planning days
  • Contracting 11 artists for our 2022 Cultural Ceremony and 28 First Nations collaboration grant recipients. 

Sleep on Country. Photo: Alex Frayne, 2022

In 2022 8% of shows registered with Adelaide Fringe showcased creatives who identify as First Nations and 24% of grants were distributed to First Nations recipients.

For National Reconciliation Week, Adelaide Fringe hosted a morning tea at HQ, which was also a registered event with Reconciliation Australia. A cultural awareness session was led by the Tjindu Foundation, with an art workshop led by Mali Isobel. The Adelaide Fringe team really valued coming together as a cohort for Reconciliation Week and will continue this style of event in the future. 

When it comes to external events, the operations team is constantly reviewing policies which may be a barrier to participation for staff and stakeholders. We encourage all staff to attend external Reconciliation, NAIDOC and other cultural events during their working week. Over the past year we have learnt the importance of ease and encouragement of participation for our staff. Some methods we use to remove barriers to attending external events include placing events in the all staff calendar as early as possible to ensure workloads and meetings can be managed, as well as constantly communicating with staff in regards to events across all channels. This also includes communication of any updates or responsibilities that staff may have at events.

Over the past 12 months Adelaide Fringe has been committed to recognising the diversity of the South Australian Community. Adelaide Fringe included a field in its venue registration process for venues to identify which First Nations language, social or nation group venues operate on. In 2022 Adelaide Fringe took place across 13 different traditional language, social and nation groups: Barngarla, Bunganditj, Bunurong, Kaurna, Kokatha, Meintangk, Meru, Narungga, Nhawu, Ngadjuri, Ngarrindjeri, Nukunu, Peramangk. 


Adelaide Fringe’s commitment to observing cultural protocols has been ongoing since before implementing our Innovate RAP. Adelaide Fringe’s RAP journey has so far seen us document Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country resources. We have found the creation of resources empowers staff to do their own Acknowledgement, as well as engaging traditional owners to perform a Welcome to Country at an event or significant meeting.

The 2022 NAIDOC Week theme was Get Up! Stand Up!. Show Up! Adelaide Fringe celebrated NAIDOC week with our staff and the community and had an incredible week of connection and learning. Adelaide Fringe held a stall at the NAIDOC Week Family Fun Day in Tarntanyangga. We brought the spinning wheel which was a hit amongst the crowd, giving away free merch and acting as an information booth for all things employment, volunteering and participating in Adelaide Fringe. Adelaide Fringe staff also joined the NAIDOC SA March. A fantastic day was had by all, and we plan to be back in 2023.


Adelaide Fringe stall at NAIDOC Week Family Fun Day. Photo: Georgia Lake, 2022 

Creating a culturally safe workplace is imperative to strengthen our respect with staff, artists, venues and producers as well as the wider community. Our Artist and Venue team are continually on hand to provide guidance and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, producers and venues. The Artist and Venue team is backed up by our Diversity and Inclusion team, who are able to provide bespoke support to Adelaide Fringe participants. Adelaide Fringe is looking to work with an external consultant within the next 3 months to audit and support in areas such as creating a culturally safe workplace, inclusive HR policies as well as the entire recruitment process. 

Adelaide Fringe continues to make funding available from The Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund to support First Nations works at Fringe. In 2022, more than $200,000 in grants were awarded to First Nations participants.


Adelaide Fringe strives to create opportunities for our First Nations staff, businesses, artists, performers and producers. This includes improving on our employment outcomes, increasing supplier diversity and offering support to artists, performers and producers.

Our HR team is working towards improving our employment outcomes with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by engaging with our First Nations staff and advisors to consult on our recruitment, retention and professional development strategy.

Adelaide Fringe is working hard to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity. The Diversity and Inclusion team attended The Circle, a First Nations business hub and met with many First Nations businesses that we are hoping to have great relationships with. Adelaide Fringe has partnered with Supply Nation to reduce barriers to procuring goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

Adelaide Fringe is constantly working on building new relationships with First Nations artists, performers and producers. Adelaide Fringe staff attend many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances and festivals throughout the year and during the Fringe season and work with other organisations to support young, up and coming First Nations artists, producers and arts workers. Some of the performances and festivals attended by Fringe staff include Partgina, Sky Song, Still Talkin ‘Bout a Revolution and the National Indigenous Music Awards.

Sky Song. Photo: Topbunk, 2022

On 16-17 May 2022 the Fringe crew travelled to the Coorong with Major “Moogy” Sumner to learn the history of the Ngarrindjeri people. Staff partook in activities such as club making and traditional Ngarrindjeri weaving, and stayed the night on Country. It was an invaluable experience that allowed us to share a yarn and connect to Country. 

Adelaide Fringe Marketing Manager Kirrilee Hay partook in Aboriginal Cultural Sensitivity and Respect Training delivered by Bookabee Australia and said, “The training was so insightful. There is so much history that is not taught in schools of the oppression of Aboriginal peoples throughout recent decades. It really highlighted the intergenerational impacts of government decisions on Aboriginal people in years past, and why we should all learn more about and participate in Aboriginal culture to pay our respect to the oldest living culture on earth.”   


Adelaide Fringe takes pride in the governance of our Reconciliation Action Plan. We understand the importance of maintaining the structure of our RAP Working Group and keeping our Reconciliation Action Plan at the forefront of our organisation's mind and progressing. This includes maintaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on our RAP Working Group, meeting at least four times per year to drive and monitor the implementation of our Reconciliation Action Plan, and tracking and reporting on our commitments to the board and staff. 

The Operations team engages all levels of the organisation by facilitating an internal RAP Working Group to progress with the implementation of our Reconciliation Action Plan and working with the senior leadership team to ensure the RAP commitments are achieved.

Adelaide Fringe is committed to building accountability and transparency through reporting our RAP achievements, challenges and learnings. This includes completing Reconciliation Australia’s annual RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire for 2022 and publicly reporting our achievements, challenges and learning through our RAP journey.