Reconciliation Action Plan launched to build stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Australia’s largest and most diverse public health service, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, has officially launched a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for its community based health care and support services across the north side of Brisbane.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, patients, community and staff all gathered at Brighton Health Campus on June 4 to witness the launch of the ‘Community, Indigenous and Subacute Services Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan May 2018 – May 2020’ as part of National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) celebrations.
Metro North Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Shaun Drummond said the RAP provided a blueprint to enhance the health journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and improve employment and economic outcomes.
“The plan provides a framework for building stronger and more respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to progress reconciliation in Australia, both within the workplace and the community that we serve,” Mr Drummond said.
He also told the audience Metro North had recently committed to developing an Indigenous Workforce Strategy and has already welcomed six Indigenous school-based trainees to the organisation.
Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit, Paul Drahm, who co-chaired the development of the RAP alongside Community, Indigenous and Subacute Services (CISS) Director of Allied Health Jo Walters, said both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clinical and administrative staff were integral to shaping the actions.
“CISS will continue to be seen as a leader in the provision of culturally appropriate, and culturally safe healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, while also being viewed as an employer of choice for Indigenous Australians,” Mr Drahm said.
“CISS is proud to employ 70 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders. We plan to nurture our existing staff by providing opportunities for further training and qualifications, improving the relationships and respect of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and cultural needs and improved cultural governance arrangements across the service.”
The plan is the first step in the reconciliation journey for Metro North, with Caboolture and Redcliffe Hospitals expected to commence planning their own Reconciliation Action Plans over the next 12 months.