Reconciliation Action Plan
Fostering and celebrating a shared sense of belonging for all Australians.
For thousands of years, Tubowgule, the land on which the Opera House stands, has been a place of gathering and belonging. The Gadigal would meet on the tidal island, eat and share stories. The Opera House carries on this legacy by embracing and celebrating the culture of Australia’s First Peoples.
The Opera House’s Reconciliation Action Plan ["RAP"] commits to a range of actions and initiatives that aim to safeguard these traditions and adapting cultures for future generations. In 2011, the Opera House became the first performing arts organisation in Australia to launch a RAP. The inaugural RAP was developed to turn the Opera House’s commitment into a meaningful strategy for achieving its reconciliation vision.
Since then, the Opera House has embarked on a number of initiatives through its RAPs to further embed reconciliation values across the full spectrum of what the Opera House offers, from art and experiences to education and employment.
In 2019, the Opera House became the first major Australian arts institution to announce its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to address the world’s most pressing challenges by 2030. This commitment is reflected in our fifth Reconciliation Action Plan (2020-22) which supports global efforts to promote cultural awareness, equality and opportunity for all, and commits to initiatives that will enable our vision for reconciliation – to foster and celebrate a shared sense of belonging for all Australians.
Our 2020-22 RAP, as well as our 2016-19 RAP and 2017-18 achievements are available at the links below.
With the Opera House’s 50th anniversary year in 2023, we will be setting a new strategic direction and we want our RAP to be at the heart of what we do next. To bring the development of our next RAP in line with our other social and environmental sustainability strategies through such a pivotal year, we have been granted a 12-month extension of our 2020 – 22 RAP by Reconciliation Australia. The additional time will also allow us to further our commitments, some of which were impacted by the pandemic.
With Reconciliation Australia’s guidance, in the interim period until the new RAP has been endorsed, we continue to be an active RAP program partner: continuing to implement our existing RAP commitments, undertake our reporting requirements and engage closely with Reconciliation Australia to develop a sustainable and meaningful new RAP.
Previous Reconciliation Action Plans
Sydney Opera House belongs to everyone. As an organisation, our goal is to provide barrier-free access, making the site, building and the experiences they offer accessible to all people.
The Opera House plays an important role in shaping our nation, life and culture. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we are setting out the positive change we want to drive over the next two years, and beyond. Because we have a committed workforce. Because it will make the Opera House a better place for everyone. Because what we do next will inspire others.
Sustainability is in our DNA. For thousands of years, the Gadigal people would come to Bennelong Point to meet, share stories and music. Their land management ensured the preservation of their food sources. The Opera House’s architect, Jørn Utzon, incorporated sustainable design elements such as a seawater-cooling system into the building which opened in 1973.