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."

Alice Robins
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. The Association's RAP under development is the first level of plan, REFLECT. This plan will guide the Association reconciliation activities for a 12 month period.

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.

Two discussion forums were held during 2018. The first (15 May) was an electronic meeting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. The second, held at the National Conference in Adelaide 29 May, was open to all Association members. Discussion at both was lively and interesting. Themes from the two forums were collated, and developed into a draft plan. The draft was developed using templates and language endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. 

Feedback on the draft plan was sought from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, relevant external organisations, Branches across Australia and through an online survey available to both Association members and non-members with an interest in the area. The plan was refined following feedback. The present document contains content only. The final document will incorporate commissioned artwork, photographs, selected quotes from feedback, and introductions from the National President and Chief Executive Officer.

Next steps

The draft plan will be submitted to Reconciliation Australia in January 2019. The process then involves iterative feedback and revisions, until a final plan is endorsed. The aim is for the plan to be launched during the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2019, which fortuitously takes place during Reconciliation Week.

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.

Email the Association regarding the plan.