As Australia reflects on 13 years since the National Apology, WA Primary Health Alliance is working on its own commitment to promote and advocate for the rights of Aboriginal people within the primary health care setting.
On 13 February 2008, then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly the Stolen Generation, whose lives were deeply affected by past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation.
The Apology was a significant step forward in healing the trauma caused, as it acknowledged the wrongs of the past while making a commitment to building stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Commissioned Services Mark Cockayne said the organisation had its own commitment to work alongside the Western Australian Aboriginal community and create positive, lasting changes.
“We are well progressed in developing our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), our Innovate version, which will firmly establish the foundation to progress our organisation’s reconciliation journey,” he said.
The RAP covers the need to grow and develop strong relationships with Aboriginal people, built on trust and respect, and to engage and partner with them to co-design and implement services specific to the local health needs.
WAPHA aims to develop a culturally competent workforce and build capacity within the primary health care system to deliver culturally appropriate services.
This includes growing and empowering the Aboriginal workforce both within WAPHA, and the services it funds, as well as improving cultural awareness and respect across the wider population.
“By reinforcing reconciliation through our sphere of influence and championing a culture of understanding and respect, we can do our part to ensure primary health care services accessed by Aboriginal people are culturally appropriate and aligned to community needs, and, importantly, result in tangible health and wellbeing outcomes..”