We Gather, Together by Nina Ross, an artwork commissioned by Hunt Hospitality to represent the diverse Countries on which its venues stand.

Hunt Hospitality has become one of more than 2,200 organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation by completing its first Reconciliation Action Plan, (RAP) which has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

The group began exploring the creation of a RAP in 2023, after identifying First Nations relations as a gap in its social responsibility initiatives. From this, a working group was formed, which worked closely with the Hunt Hospitality executive team, Reconciliation Australia, and First Nations leaders and communities.

Stephen Hunt, CEO and managing director of Hunt Hospitality, said that the final RAP is a strong reflection of the group’s values and goals.

“This endorsement aligns with our broader mission to honour Indigenous cultures and histories in our venues and serves as a foundational step towards deeper understanding and sustainable growth, guiding us in our ongoing journey to foster a more inclusive and respectful environment,” he said.

During the RAP planning process, the group has organised immersion programs  for staff on Awabakal land with local Elder Uncle Paul Gordon and David Newman, and highlighted native ingredients across all of its venues. The group also commissioned Aboriginal artist Nina Ross to create an artwork reflecting the Wonnarua, Worimi, Gumbaynggirr, Biripai, and Awabakal peoples on whose lands Hunt Hospitality’s venues stand.

Since implementing the RAP, Hunt Hospitality COO Ricci-Lee Wheeler said that the group has developed strong and meaningful relationships with First Nations communities.

“Our staff have embraced this journey, gaining invaluable insights into Indigenous cultures and histories. This deeper understanding has translated into stronger community ties and more inclusive practices across our venues. The RAP has not only strengthened our internal processes but has also helped build bridges with local Indigenous communities and suppliers,” she said.

Hunt is similarly proud of the progress that the group has made throughout the RAP planning period.

“Over the past year, our RAP has evolved from a concept into a comprehensive framework that actively guides our operations and community engagement. We’ve developed clear action plans, conducted cultural awareness training for our staff, and established strong partnerships with First Nations organisations. These efforts have deepened our understanding and respect for Indigenous cultures and have been pivotal in fostering an inclusive environment across our venues. We are proud of the strides we’ve made and remain committed to advancing our reconciliation journey,” he said.

There are four types of RAPs – Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, and Elevate, and Hunt Hospitality has created a Reflect RAP, which prepares an organisation to engage in reconciliation by developing relationships with First Nations stakeholders and understanding the organisation’s sphere of influence. A Reflect RAP is generally implemented over a period of a year to a year and a half, and the scope of Hunt Hospitality’s RAP spans to March 2025.

Some of the goals outlined in the RAP are celebrating National NAIDOC Week next month, and increasing Indigenous recruitment, retention, and professional development within the business. Hunt Hospitality is also committed to developing its next RAP, which it aims to begin working on in November.

“We worked closely with Reconciliation Australia to ensure our Reflect RAP was both meaningful and actionable. This required us to set clear objectives and measurable outcomes, focusing on building cultural awareness and establishing respectful relationships,” Hunt said. “Collaborating with Reconciliation Australia, we crafted a plan that not only addresses our goals but also reflects the aspirations of the communities we aim to support. Achieving this endorsement underscores our dedication to reconciliation and sets a strong foundation for ongoing efforts.”

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