Today we have reached an important milestone in our reconciliation journey with the launch of our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) through which we extend our commitment to meaningful engagement with First Nations people.
We’re proud to have awarded Churchill Fellowships to First Nations peoples since 1966, our first year of operation. We continue to develop strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement strategies, partnerships for community empowerment, as well as respect for the knowledge systems of our First Peoples.
The Churchill Trust has a positive vision for reconciliation. Our goal is to bring together the collective wisdom and experience of our First Nations Churchill Fellows and members of our broader networks with the aim of increasing understanding, collaboration, and opportunity for impact within our communities, as well as to generate opportunities for future First Nations applicants.
As part of our strategic approach to ensuring Fellowships are responsive and accessible, we are excited to make domestic travel available for people living in remote parts of Australia.
Recently, the first three episodes of Voices of Power podcast were launch, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies AIATSIS. This series features Indigenous Churchill Fellows and explores critical turning points in the fight for First Nations rights and self-determination and for meaningful representation in places of power.
Our commitment to bring together collective wisdom has supported the formation of an Indigenous Churchill Fellows Network, with the aim to inform and work with the Churchill Trust to increase understanding, accessibility, and impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowships. This network has also been supported by Patron Professor Tom Calma and Board Director Shona Reid, the Churchill Trust’s first recorded female Indigenous Board Director.
Awarding Indigenous Fellowships is an integral part of our commitment to our ‘all walks of life’ mantra. We acknowledge the inherent cultures and knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Our vision is that Churchill Fellowships can play a role in reconciliation by being responsive and mindful in the ways to further the aspirations of Indigenous peoples and increase understanding and collaboration with our Indigenous Churchill Fellows.