Austin Health is committed to playing a role in reconciliation, and contributing to closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and other Australians.
We acknowledge that we operate on the land of the Wurundjeri people, and pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and future. We also pay our respects to other Elders, and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Out of that respect, we commit to creating a culturally-safe and welcoming environment for all Aboriginal people who come here, whether as patients, visitors or staff.
We're making progress on our first Reconciliation Action Plan
Austin Health is proud to be working on meeting the commitments from our first Reconciliation Action Plan, which we launched in May 2019.
Midway through delivering our first RAP, many key actions have been delivered, or will be soon - particularly in employment, creating a welcoming environment and procurement.
In creating a welcoming environment:
RAP artist Gary Saunders with his artwork, which we are using across the hospital to create a welcoming environment for Aboriginal people.
- The RAP artwork (pictured right), is being used across the organisation to create a more welcoming environment for First Nations Peoples, including in Specialist Clinics at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, the Emergency Department and at our entrances. We're also using it for new signage to the Ngarra Jarra offices.
- We increased involvement in NAIDOC Week activities, including doubling attendance at our NAIDOC Week launch and increasing participation in the NAIDOC March by 40 per cent.
- We're rolling out cultural awareness training for 60 of our senior leaders and will look to see how we can roll this out further.
- All Child Care Centre staff attended a professional development day at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.
- We'll soon launch a new cultural awareness e-learning package for all staff
- A new Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country Protocol and Guidelines are available to our staff.
- We've included an Acknowledgement of Country and diversity statement on our website, in email signatures and will use it on all major publications moving forward.
- We're regularly sharing stories about local Aboriginal culture, communities, patients and staff through various channels.
- We're putting up new flag poles and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at our Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre.
We've started planning our second Reconciliation Action Plan.
We welcome Community to get involved in our new RAP. If you would like to be involved, please get in touch by emailing Diversity&Inclusion@austin.org.au or contacting the Ngarra Jarra Aboriginal Health team.
Our first RAP is a Reflect RAP; the beginning of a formal reconciliation journey that we will build on in future RAPs in consultation with our staff and Aboriginal community.
While it is our first RAP, it builds on previous commitments, including our Ngarra Jarra Aboriginal Health Program and Closing the Gap Committee.