Our union is committed to contributing to reconciliation.

We support two networks for First Nations members to ensure we are listening and acting in accordance with our members’ needs.

First Nations Member Networks

Our union’s Yarning Circle and Yubbah Action Group support critical engagement with First Nations members.

The Yarning Circle meets four times per year and informs our campaigning and advocacy.

Our Yubbah Action Group is a working committee within our union ensuring our commitment to reconciliation is reflected throughout our activities and is responsible for maintaining an active Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The group is named after the Noonuccal word “Yubbah” meaning “message stick”, as our message stick came from Noonuccal woman and member Thersa Nunn (read more about our Message Stick below).

The group meets a minimum of five times per year.

If you’d like to know more about these First Nations member networks or register your interest in joining, please get in touch.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our union’s third Reconciliation Action Plan came into effect in 2023. Operating at the ‘innovate’ level, significant initiatives in the current RAP include:

  • Establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with First Nations members, stakeholders and organisations.
  • Building relationships through celebrating National Reconciliation Week (NRW).
  • Identifying issues of significance to First Nations members.
  • Marking Close the Gap Day.
  • Increasing understanding, value and recognition of First Nations cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning.
  • Developing exemplary Cultural Leave clauses.
  • Developing exemplary clauses for school officers in relation to the unique role of Indigenous Support/Liaison workers.
  • Building respect for First Nations cultures and histories by celebrating NAIDOC Week.
  • Providing opportunities for First Nations members to form professional networks.
  • Increasing First Nations supplier diversity to support improved economic and social outcomes.
  • Promoting Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education to union staff and external stakeholders.

To learn more about Reconciliation Action Plans and their importance in the journey towards reconciliation, click here to visit the Reconciliation Australia website.

To read more about the Narragunnawali Reconciliation in Schools program, click here.

Message Stick

As part of the launch of our initial Reconciliation Action Plan, a traditional First Nations form of communication, Message Stick, represented an important part of formally recognising Australia’s First Peoples.

The message stick was donated by IEUA-QNT member, Noonuccal woman and Quandamooka Elder, Thersa Nunn, to our union Branch Executive.

The message stick made its way across Queensland and the Northern Territory throughout 2016, visiting schools and workplaces and collecting stories and artefacts before returning to a permanent installation in our union’s Brisbane office.

Closing the Industrial Gap

We are proud to work with our First Nations members and their communities in the spirit of reconciliation. Our work in this context is guided by input from First Nations members who attend our Yarning Circle and Yubbah Action Group meetings.

In 2020, these groups indicated that they would like to see their union take a leading role in advocating for First Language instruction.

Our union and the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) have released landmark industrial guidelines to establish just and fair benchmarks for the employment of First Nations education workers.

The publication of the guidelines is the latest phase in our union’s campaign to Close the Industrial Gap between First Nations and non-First Nations identifying school staff.

The guidelines are the culmination of years of work by First Nations union members and other stakeholders committed to closing the industrial gap experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Language and Culture educators in schools.

They are designed to give employers an understanding of what conditions of employment should be considered as necessary to support employees who are delivering First Nations languages and cultural education and provide value to the work carried out.

Such measures are essential to ensure that education systems recognise broader criteria of ‘success’ that reflect First Nations’ frames of reference rather than expecting First Nations Peoples to conform to norms derived from colonial constructs.

First Languages Australia (FLA), the peak body committed to ensuring the future strength of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, was closely involved in developing the guidelines.

Other stakeholders involved include the United Workers’ Union (UWU), Queensland Department of Education, Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) and Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ).

Read more about the history and development of the industrial guidelines here.

Access the guidelines now.

Dates & events significant to First Nations Peoples 2024

Download your copy here.