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.

DRAFT Reconciliation Action Plan now available for comment.

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 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 have been developed into a draft plan. Feedback on the draft plan has been sought from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. The RAP committee has met through electronic means to plan strategy and to refine the draft plan.

Seeking Feedback

The RAP Committee is now seeking feedback on the draft plan from members and other interested people. If you know of anyone who may be interested in providing feedback, please let them know how they can do this.

The draft has been developed using templates and language endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. It 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.

Draft Reconciliation Action Plan 

An online survey is available to provide feedback. Alternatively, email feedback or direct questions to Speech Pathology Australia.

Feedback will also be sought through discussion at Branch meetings. Branches will be provided with a copy of the draft document, and focus questions to guide discussion. Each October Branch meeting will be attended by a member of the RAP Committee, who will provide orientation to the process and gather feedback.

Feedback will also be sought from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations with interests aligned with those of the speech pathology profession. If you are aware of local organisations to whom we might make a request for feedback, please email the name and contact details of the organisation to Speech Pathology Australia.

After the feedback

Feedback will be incorporated into a draft for submission to Reconciliation Australia. The process then involves iterative feedback from Reconciliation Australia, until a final plan is endorsed. The aim is for the plan to be launched during the Association's 2019 National Conference, 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