ACON to launch second reconciliation plan this week

NSW’s sexuality and gender diverse health organisation ACON says its ready to take the next step in the reconciliation journey with the release of its second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

To be launched on 2 June 2020 at the close of National Reconciliation Week, ACON says its Innovate RAP 2020-22 strengthens the organisation’s commitment to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures, acknowledge our history, build closer relationships, and to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

CEO Nicholas Parkhill said the organisation wanted to work alongside community members to achieve the best outcomes.

“Our Innovate RAP provides us with a blueprint to ensure the work that we do, how we operate and the services we provide are inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Parkhill said. “With this plan, we will strive to be the best possible allies, by actively listening, by interrogating the way we work, by working in partnership and by making sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our communities shape our work.

“We will be prioritising an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led collaborative process for the development of strategic directions, programs and services across ACON. We also know that to build authentic partnerships will require deep listening. Acknowledging the history of our country, communities and organisation is essential to build partnerships that are grounded in truth.

“We want to work together with a sense of shared celebration and pride. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of diverse genders and sexualities have unique perspectives, cultures and ways of expressing their layered identities. We want to be there to value and celebrate this,” Parkhill said.

The Innovate RAP includes actions that aim to provide greater employment, engagement and partnership opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Building trust and strong relationships is key to improving inclusion within our communities and achieving health equity. By actively and meaningfully including Australia’s First People in our work and within our organisation, we will extend the effectiveness and reach of our programs and services that will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of diverse sexuality and genders,” Parkhill said.

“By working in partnership, making space for truth telling and celebrating, we will also contribute to making progress in the critical area of employment. Making ACON a great place to work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and exploring innovative ways to support their professional development is a key priority.

“Our new Reconciliation Action Plan contains detailed actions that are ambitious and achievable. We want to increase access to sexual and community health services, employment, our procurement with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander-owned business and staff participation in training and days of cultural significance.

“In the spirit of this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme ‘In This Together’, we are proud to release our RAP, which will help guide us in ensuring sexuality and gender diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live their healthiest lives.”

The development of the Innovate RAP was overseen by ACON’s Reconciliation Working Group, the organisation’s internal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory committee made up of staff and community representatives.

ACON launched its first RAP in 2018, committing ACON to create a strategic, collaborative and whole-of-organisation approach to its work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and adopt a formal framework to ensure its work supports the national reconciliation movement. The Innovate RAP 2020-22 is ACON’s second RAP.

Source: Media Release

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