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ACON launches First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project

ACON, New South Wales’ peak LGBTQ+ health organisation, has launched a new initiative to improve on its commitment to reconciliation and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Ahead of National Reconciliation Week, which runs from 27 May to 3 June, ACON has revealed the First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project.

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The organisation say they are reflecting on their history and their role in the reconciliation process, as well as the actions needed to increase efforts and advocacy for First Nations people.

“As an organisation, we are dedicated to creating opportunities for all people in our communities to live their healthiest lives, which includes LGBTQ+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill said.

“We stand firmly by the ideals of self-determination for First Nations people, ensuring our programs and interventions are guided by those they are intended to serve.”

To amplify First Nations voices, the Project aims to create a culture of meaningful listening through strengthening dialogue, informed program development, guided strategic health outcomes and identifying where ACON can improve.

“Through our Listening and Truth Telling Project, we commit to engaging directly with LGBTQ+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across NSW,” Parkhill continued.

“These interactions will inform strategic discussions within our organisation, ultimately guiding our future directions and improving our work with these communities.”

ACON’s efforts align with its second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, which emphasises celebrating First Nations culture, resilience, and joy, and increasing organisational understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and rights through cultural learning.

“The First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project is a crucial step in ensuring that the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are heard and prioritised in our work,” Parkhill said.

“We are profoundly grateful to our First Nations staff, volunteers, clients, partners, and Board Members for their expertise and guidance. Their contributions are invaluable as we move towards truth-telling and accountability as an organisation.

“ACON is steadfast in its commitment to reconciliation, equity, and justice, continually striving to build an open and transparent dialogue with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. By working in partnership, we aim to better serve and support the health and wellbeing of First Nations LGBTQ+SB people in NSW.”

ACON’s First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project will help it reflect on how to improve its ongoing role working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of diverse sexualities and genders to achieve better health outcomes.

Experienced consultants interested in working with ACON to drive this project forward are invited to submit an expression of interest in the project.

For more information on the Project and to submit an Expression of Interest, visit the First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project at ACON.org.au

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