Reciprocity Action Plan

09 Jan 2020


What is a Reciprocity Action Plan?

Yoga Australia has begun preparing for a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) assisted by Ngungwulah Aboriginal Corporation ( ICN 9263). The RAP will be guided and informed by a growing Yarn Circle of yoga teachers who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Upon the Yarn Circle’s suggestion, it was decided to refer to this process the Reciprocity Action Plan, recognizing that the word reconciliation means “the restoration of friendly relations”. Given the initial absence of a post invasion relationship, Reconciliation is seen as a bit of a misnomer. Reciprocity instead implies we start from the beginning to develop a robust and reciprocal relationship based on good will and respect. 

Yoga Australia has commenced drafting the Reflect RAP with Reconciliation Australia with the intention to launch in September 2020. A Reflect RAP clearly sets out the steps you should take to prepare your organisation for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs. 

Committing to a Reflect RAP allows an organisation to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on their vision for reconciliation and exploring your sphere of influence, before committing to specific actions or initiatives. This process will help to produce future RAPs that are meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable. These RAPS are successive. The Reflect RAP is followed by:

The Innovate  RAP– Implementing reconciliation

An Innovate RAP outlines actions that work towards achieving an organisation’s unique vision for reconciliation. Commitments within this RAP allow an organisation to be aspirational and innovative in order to help an organisation to gain a deeper understanding of its sphere of influence, and establish the best approach to advance reconciliation. An Innovate RAP focuses on developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, developing and piloting innovative strategies to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Stretch RAP– Embedding reconciliation

A Stretch RAP is best suited to organisations that have developed strategies, and established a strong approach towards advancing reconciliation internally and within the organisation’s sphere of influence. This type of RAP is focused on implementing longer-term strategies, and working towards defined measurable targets and goals. The Stretch RAP requires organisations to embed reconciliation initiatives into business strategies to become ‘business as usual’.

The Elevate RAP– Leadership in reconciliation

An Elevate RAP is for organisations that have a proven track record of embedding effective RAP initiatives in their organisation through their Stretch RAPs and are ready to take on a leadership position to advance national reconciliation. Elevate RAP organisations have a strong strategic relationship with Reconciliation Australia and actively champion initiatives to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and create societal change. Elevate RAP organisations also require greater transparency and accountability through independent assessment of their activities.

The Yarn Circle

We are delighted to be supported in our work by a number of yoga teachers who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples. We hope that this circle will grow as we are able to more widely disseminate this initiative across the country. If you or a yoga teacher you know are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and interested to join this circle we’d love to hear from you.

The role of the Yarn Circle is to help our yoga community look over initiatives and to provide culturally aware guidance to make sure that we operate in appropriate ways. They will also provide assistance regarding approaches to the Reciprocity Process and assist in rolling out this and future Reconciliation Plans.

Currently our Yarn Circle is held by these wonderful yoga teachers.


Ella Noah Bancroft

Bundjalung Woman

Emma Ceolin

Yirrganydji woman

Ros Fogg

Darug woman

Ros Fogg IYTA 50th Anniversary
Welcome to Country

Jem Stone

Bundjalung lady living on Wurundjeri Country

One Little Warrior Woman

Gemma Lloyd

Dhungutti and Yuin woman

Eve White

Wiradjuri woman living on Eora land

Kirt Mallie

Torres Strait Islander man living on Darkinjung Land

Scarlet  Barnett

Palawa woman living on on Wurundjeri Country

Leisa Marie Hicks

A proud Kamilaroi living on Dharawal speaking country


Trish McNicholl

Living on Kaurna Land

Laura Florence Sterling

Proud Barkindji, Woman


Below , we have outlined the work that has been done by Yoga Australia relating to the RAP. We will continue to communicate it’s progress through our, socials and publications.How has Yoga Australia moved towards Reciprocity to date?


Yoga Australia now sends out Acknowledgment of Country cards to all new members/student members. This card and an accompanying information sheet provides guidance on the how what and why of Acknowledging Country prior to their class, and providing Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at more important events. You can download both these items here . You can purchase the printed postcards from us at $1per postcard to cover printing costs if you would like to circulate them in your teaching community.


Two articles have been written specifically for Yoga Today magazine to help raise awareness of the work we are doing in the space and other initiatives that are taking place in communities.

In the teacher training edition of Yoga Today, Cate Peterson wrote an article titled Teaching Yoga In Australia in Different. This article outlined our plans for the RAP and discussed ways in which our members could get involved. The article explored the question of how we best engage all Australians in yoga in Australia. You can download the article here.

In the  April 2019 Yoga Today, themed ‘Beyond Asana’, Sara Jones introduced us to the ancient wellness practice of Wayapa. Download Yoga Today Beyond Asana to read Why Yoga needs Wayapa

If you have an idea of an article that you would like to share with the readers of Yoga Today, please get in touch with Kate at [email protected]

Past Events

24th November 2018 – Tas State Meeting 

Ruth Langford shared ways that as Yoga teachers we can mindfully bring connection to Country and Culture not only to our practice but also into our daily lives. This was a hugely popular event with the Tas branch and we are currenly talking to Ruth about the possibility of  hosting similar sessions Australia-wide. 

27th May 2019 – Miriam Rose Foundation Tour

A group   9 yoga teachers visited Miriam at Daly River to more closely understand Dadirri, the Aboriginal experience of mindfulness which is fundamental to Culture and being with Country.

The invitation is out for yoga teachers to join us this time in 2020 To express your interest email [email protected] 

June 2019 WA 

In June a special 3-day event was held: Being of Service in Remote Australia – The Rewards & Challenges. is going to be like nothing we’ve held before.We thank Taryn Sirianni for assisting us in bringing this Kimberley immersion experience to our members.

May 2020 AUS 

Experience three ways to deepen your Acknowledgement of Country with Eve White Jem Stone and Cate Peterson. Learn about the historical and current understanding of this practice and think into how you might best incorporate it when sharing your yoga practice. Explore the benefits of a Yarn Circle with us and be introduced to the traditional mindfulness practice of Dadirri

Facebook Group

We’d love to have you join us in the important conversation about what it is to be an Australian Yoga Teacher, teaching on Country. Please be part of it by requesting membership and then sharing your questions, your stories and your thoughts here:

Resources and Connection Points

Gambay : Australian First Languages Map

Acknowledgement of Country  Resources

Wayapa Wuurrk
Wakai – Daly River Strong Young Women

Dadirri – The Deep Inner Spring Inside Us

Kanyini – Documentary on local Yama

How to get involved

  1. Apply to join our Reciprocity Action Plan Group
  2. Acknowledge Country and Culture prior to yoga classes, hang a placard, add to your email signature. For guidelines ask Yoga Australia but simply Acknowledge from your heart and in your own words eg :
    Ngungwulah Aboriginal Corporation recognises the continuous and deep connection to Country, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of this nation. In this way we respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, sea and sky. We pay tribute to the Elders past and present as I also respect the collective ancestry that has brought us all here today.
  3. Check out this non-exhaustive  list of Aboriginal festivals around Australia to which the invitation is open ABC List of FestivalsNorth Qld Festivals Tasmania Festival South Australia
  4. Follow Yoga on Country bringing yoga communities together with traditional owners for ceremony, sharing and walking on country
  5. Open the conversation with your local Traditional Owners  
  6. Ask about running a Cultural Awareness training at your studio 

    Weekly Forum 8: Acknowledging Country – watch here: 

    Experience three ways to deepen your Acknowledgement of Country with Eve White Jem Stone and Cate Peterson. Learn about the historical and current understanding of this practice and think into how you might best incorporate it when sharing your yoga practice. Explore the benefits of a Yarn Circle with us and be introduced to the traditional mindfulness practice of Dadirri

    Please take an interest and track the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan HERE

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