Reconciliation Action Plan
Why a Reconciliation Action Plan?
The Speech Pathology 2030 project identified the need for Speech Pathology Australia to engage more closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their organisations.
The vision is for inequities in access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities to be addressed, non-Aboriginal speech pathologists to be supported in developing cultural competency during their training and their working life, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates will increase, and that more culturally appropriate research will be undertaken.
A Reconciliation Action Plan is an important step in achieving the vision.
“It's exciting to see Speech Pathology Australia creating a RAP. It shows their commitment to valuing and recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge and connection to land. It demonstrates the Association’s willingness to foster a culturally safe and sensitive profession, workplaces and practices. The RAP is an important step towards reconciliation and improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities."
Grade 1 Speech Pathologist
What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) sets out the steps an organisation will take to support the reconciliation movement. The RAP is developed with the assistance of Reconciliation Australia and focuses on three principles – Relationships, Respect and Opportunities. Four levels of plan are described, each of which builds on the previous level.
What has the Association done so far?
A Reconciliation Action Plan Committee was formed late in 2017, and undertook cultural awareness training delivered by Evolve Communities in February 2018.
Electronic meetings of the committee have been held on 6 March, 27 March and 18 June. Two discussion forums have been held. The first (May 15) was for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. The second, held at the National Conference in Adelaide on 29 May, was open to Association members. Discussion at both were lively and interesting. Themes from the two forums have been collated, and will be developed into a draft plan.
Immediate next steps will seek feedback on the draft plan from members through a variety of means. These include:
- Discussion at Branch meetings. The draft will be supplied, and a member of the RAP committee will attend the meeting (in person if possible, or by electronic means).
- The draft will be uploaded to the website, and written feedback invited from members.
- A survey to solicit member opinion on selected elements of the plan will be developed and circulated.
Reconciliation Action Plan Committee
Tara Lewis, Aboriginal member
Eddie Ong, Torres Strait Islander member
Alice Robins, Aboriginal new graduate member
Gaenor Dixon, National President, Speech Pathology Australia
Gail Mulcair, Chief Executive Officer, Speech Pathology Australia
Cori Williams, Senior Advisor Senior Advisor Evidence Based Practice and Research
Stacey Baldac, Senior Advisor Professional Standards
Michael Kerrisk, Communications and Marketing Manager