Our mission at Reach is to support all young people to reach their potential and thrive. We fundamentally believe that every young person should be afforded the same opportunities and platform to be the best version of themselves. However the reality is that this isn’t often the case. The re-emergence of the #BlackLivesMatter protests have shed a garish and much stronger light on existing inequities concerning race and the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here in Australia. As our news and social media feeds start to show our inertia, we’re mindful that now is when the real work needs to start. If we want to see systematic change, organisations and individuals need to be doing some heavy lifting to accelerate that change. And Reach is not exempt from this.
We were inspired by the #PullUpOrShutUp Instagram movement created by @pullupforchange – a movement asking brands who had made public statements about BLM to release the number of black employees; especially at senior levels who work in their organisations. One of our core principles at Reach is that we would never ask something of a young person that we weren’t prepared to do ourselves. So it’s only right that we share our own diversity profile with the community in the spirit of being transparent and to keep us accountable in our journey to ensure Reach is reflective of the diversity of the communities we work in. We have intentionally decided to share a broader spectrum of our diversity profile because we do work with young people from all backgrounds.
Whilst our Board are all incredibly passionate about supporting young people and believe in our work, it is clear that we have some work to do to diversify. Through recent organic movement of tenured board members, we are in the process of recruiting new directors. We are mindful in finding the right skill set of leaders to govern Reach. For the first time in Reach’s history, the available positions have been advertised publicly to ensure we cast a wider net of potential candidates. Given the limited number of board positions, we will be diligently searching for the right candidates and also ensure the composition is diverse.
The data captured under Our People consist of Board, Staff and Crew members. As a collective, the data shows a wide range of representation in our organisation – which we are proud of. The nature of work often means we attract people from all walks of life. Our organisation is eclectic, full of rich stories and whilst there are many differences, what unifies us is our commitment and passion for supporting young people.
With 34 of our Crew responding to the survey, we’re mindful that this does not give us an accurate snapshot of our Crew diversity profile. However the data that we do have will inform how we recruit new generations of Reach Crew into the future.
The Reach Crew are the lifeblood of our organisation. They are the young people who design and deliver our programs, and they’re in schools and the community inspiring and empowering other young people. We’ve always recruited based on archetypes to ensure we have a diversity of energy and character types in the organisation. But moving forward we will also be considering the representation existing in the organisation to ensure that we are a) more targeted in our recruitment approach and b) we ensure that all young people feel like Reach is safe, accessible and inclusive.
So what are we doing about it?
As an organisation supporting young people, it’s always been implicit that we are diverse and here for all young people. But we know we can’t rest on our laurels. Below are some of the actions we are taking to move the dial forward, bearing in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. We are not just trying to “tick the box”. We want to ensure Reach is a safe and accessible place to all young people and to those who work and volunteer in the organisation.
- Developing our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
- Delivering Diversity & Identity training for our staff, crew and board
- Building relationships with other organisations supporting young people who have more experience with certain communities
- Recruiting new directors to join our Board and members for our Subcommittees
- Recruiting a new generation of Reach Crew in Melbourne and Sydney later in 2020
We acknowledge we have a lot of work to do, and it’s important for us to strive towards our ultimate goal to support and empower all young people. We’re open to ideas and suggestions and please do hold us accountable.
If you would like to know more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.