The APA will welcome media host and special advisor to the PM on Indigenous constitutional recognition, Stan Grant, to officially launch its comprehensive 2017 - 2019 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) next week at the profession’s MOMENTUM 2017 national conference.

The Innovate RAP continues the reconciliation journey commenced in 2012 when the APA’s first RAP was released. It focuses strongly on actions that physios can take to help Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and life expectancy in their workplaces, communities, educational institutions and hospitals. The RAP will educate current and future physiotherapists to become culturally competent and respectful, and work to end any trace of institutional racism present in the profession.

The RAP also aims to create an employment pathway for prospective employees that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and will encourage deeper engagement with our membership via key advocacy mechanisms such as Close the Gap Steering Committee initiatives, of which the APA is a committed member.

APA National Chair of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC), Marilyn Morgan, who is of Western Arrente descent, worked extensively with the committee to produce the RAP over a period of two years. Marilyn said, “An innate understanding of our people’s culture and needs will lead to improved health outcomes. It sounds so simple, but we are yet to achieve this across our health system. The physiotherapy profession’s commitment to understanding the unique health circumstances that affect Aboriginal people, and the way we treat them both clinically and culturally will have an enormously positive effect on how they choose health care providers and adhere to treatment programs.

“If we can make Aboriginal people feel safe and understood, they will access the health system earlier and more often, thus leading to better health outcomes.”

APA National President Phil Calvert, a member of the ATSIHC and strong champion of the new RAP, is passionate about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, connection to land and ways of healing. “Our profession has a great opportunity to make a meaningful difference. We will provide pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to both train as physios and to receive appropriate treatment by non-Indigenous physios who are sensitive to their culture.

“We will ensure these pathways lead to new and better ways of treatment, education and understanding. It is an exciting time for the APA to work with its members to lead and champion cultural safety, improved access and better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

The RAP outlines an extensive range of actions across the key focus area of Relationships, Respect, and Opportunities. It can be viewed here.

Phil Calvert and Stan Grant will officially launch the RAP at the opening plenary at MOMENTUM 2017 and will be available for interviews directly after the launch.

What: Innovate 2017 – 2019 Reconciliation Action Plan launch

Who: APA National President Phil Calvert and Indigenous media host and advisor Stan Grant

Where: MOMENTUM 2017 Physiotherapy Conference International Conference Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney

When: 8.30 – 9.00am Thursday 19 October


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