Architectus acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work.

We honour their unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters, sky, and communities and their rich contribution to society.

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Building on the relationships we forge with First Nations collaborators and communities, we put our intentions into action through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The RAP framework set out by Reconciliation Australia provides our practice with a structured approach to progressing our efforts.

In 2020 we established our first Reflect RAP, aiming to deepen our understanding from acknowledgment to listening, learning, and working with First Nations peoples in our practice and projects. This has profoundly impacted the way we work.

We renewed our RAP in 2022 and reaffirmed our commitment to reconciliation through deeper relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups, organisations, and businesses.

In early 2024, Reconciliation Australia formally endorsed our Innovate RAP, making Architectus one of only a handful of design practices in Australia to progress to this phase of the ongoing journey.

To learn more, download our complete Innovate RAP.

Gathering in workshops to learn from and weave with Yindjibarndi artist Katie West (pictured at top) we created all the woven pieces that form our Innovate RAP artwork.

Action by practice

Our RAP formalises our commitment to Indigenous employment and procurement practices as well as our respect for culture and Country.

Recognising the gap in First Nations participation in the design and property industry, we are aiming to improve pathways into the profession by working with groups like Career Trackers and Aurora Education Foundation and running our own Work Experience Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students.

In addition, we partner with industry peers on initiatives such as the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s First Nations Pathways Program.

United in a consortium with Slattery and MPA, we proudly supported the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s First Nations Pathways Program in 2024.

Relationships and principles

We enter into conversations and collaborations with First Nations designers, advisors, artists, and communities. We also strive to incorporate First Nations design principles, artworks, and wisdom into our projects.

We are guided by the principles of the Australian Indigenous Design Charter, particularly when it comes to Indigenous-led design input, community specific cultural protocols, impacts of design, and shared knowledge methodologies for all levels of engagement.

First Nations cultural learning

Our practice recognises that education and awareness are an important part of the pathway to reconciliation.

All Architectus employees participate in a form of First Nations cultural awareness training, whether that’s the SBS Inclusion Program, industry-based professional development, or small group education settings. This work gives employees the opportunity to:

– Improve their knowledge of the importance of First Nations history, culture, and spirituality

– Understand the impact of colonisation and the trauma felt by Stolen Generations

– Develop an appreciation for the concept of First Nations family and kinship

– Learn to how to establish meaningful relationships with First Nations peoples and groups, and

– Understand how to work collaboratively with First Nations groups to continue our reconciliation process as individuals and as a business.

Design discussion between Architectus Principal Luke Johnson and First Nations consultant Christian Hampson, CEO of Yerrabingin.