RACMA is invested in increasing the number of Indigenous Medical Administrators, and improving the health access, health outcomes and education of First Nations communities and understands how critical national reconciliation is to achieve this.
Recognising the importance of this issue, the College has developed its Step One Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to provide its staff, Members, and stakeholders with a structured and accountable approach to advance reconciliation.
This first RAP sets out a number of steps aimed at building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples which will create a solid foundation for RACMA’s reconciliation pathway. This initial phase will also enable the College to define a clear vision to produce future RAPs and initiatives that are meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable.
Indigenous Health Working Group (IHWG) Chair, Dr Luis Prado, said establishing a RAP was important for RACMA to show leadership in supporting Indigenous people in the healthcare system to be heard and identified.
“The creation of this first RAP is a significant step forward for a College the size of RACMA as it provides an official roadmap,” Dr Prado said.
“As specialist Medical Leaders we recognise our sphere of influence particularly in the clinical governance and medical workforce in the health system arena. It is about making sure we have Indigenous liaison, identification, and processes in place to guide Indigenous people safely through the system in a culturally appropriate manner.”
RACMA’s RAP sets out a number of actions and deliverables under the four pillars of Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance. These include:
- Raising awareness and increasing respect, understanding, value, and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by celebrating cultures and histories.
- Engaging and participating in all relevant external Indigenous events/workshops as identified in the College RAP (encouraging Members and staff to participate).
- Promoting and advocating positive race relations through policy and anti-discrimination strategies.
- Demonstrating respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by observing cultural protocols.
- Improving employment outcomes by increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development.
- Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students’ opportunities for Fellowship training.
A key part of ensuring the College’s first RAP makes an impression on Members, staff and stakeholders, has been the commissioning of Indigenous artwork which symbolised RACMA and its commitment to reconciliation and the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Using RACMA’s corporate colour palette in line with branding guidelines, the artwork by Ngarrindjeri Artist Jordan Lovegrove depicts RACMA’s reconciliation journey and its four core values.
This artwork will now be incorporated into all official RACMA publications to enhance our ongoing commitment.
A number of key strategies have been devised to implement the RAP, including:
- The establishment of a RAP Working Group.
- Continual engagement with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak associations, such as AIDA and LIME Network.
- Collaboration with other Specialist Medical Colleges and key health organisations.
- Promotion of Indigenous health matters and health equality.
While this RAP formalises the College’s commitment to achieve reconciliation, it does not mark the beginning of RACMA’s journey. The College established its IHWG in 2020 to advise the College on Indigenous cultural safety and wellbeing and has partnered with the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) and Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME Network) on direct consultations, participation in Conferences and events, and sharing of resources.
RACMA’s partnership with AIDA to develop Medical Leaders and Managers among the Indigenous medical community has also extended to the introduction of a full scholarship for an AIDA Member for the College’s Leadership for Clinicians Program.
To view the full RAP visit https://racma.edu.au/about-us/governance/advocacy/