NSW’s leading sexuality and gender diverse health organisation ACON is proud to take the next step in the reconciliation journey with the release of its second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

In late 2016 ACON’s Board and Senior Leadership Team recognised the need to work in a more coordinated, culturally respectful and inclusive way with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, service users and organisational partners

By 2018, The Innovate RAP initiative was developed, organised and put into motion by ACON’s Reconciliation Working Group with the aim to create a strategic, collaborative and whole-of-organisation approach to its work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and adopt a formal framework to ensure its work supports the national reconciliation movement.

“Our Innovate RAP provides us with a blueprint to ensure that the work that we do, how we operate and the services we provide are inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“In the spirit of this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme ‘In This Together’, we are proud to release our RAP, which will help guide us in ensuring sexuality and gender diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live their healthiest lives.”

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 To be launched on 2 June 2020, during National Reconciliation Week, ACON’s Innovate RAP 2020-22 strengthens the organisation’s commitment to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures, acknowledge our history, build closer relationships, and to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Our new Reconciliation Action Plan contains detailed actions that are ambitious and achievable. We want to increase access to sexual and community health services, employment, our procurement with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander-owned business and staff participation in training and days of cultural significance,” Parkhill said.

“With this plan, we will strive to be the best possible allies, by actively listening, by interrogating the way we work, by working in partnership and by making sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our communities shape our work.”

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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples remain a priority population under successive state and national health strategies, recognising that this population continues to be disproportionately impacted by poorer health outcomes across a number of areas, including HIV and STIs, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Smoking, Domestic and Family Violence and Social Inclusion.

“Building trust and strong relationships is key to improving inclusion within our communities and achieving health equity. By actively and meaningfully including Australia’s First People in our work and within our organisation, we will extend the effectiveness and reach of our programs and services that will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of diverse sexuality and genders,” Parkhill said.

“By working in partnership, making space for truth telling and celebrating, we will also contribute to making progress in the critical area of employment. Making ACON a great place to work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and exploring innovative ways to support their professional development is a key priority.”

ACON’s Innovate RAP will be launched at a virtual event on Tuesday 2 June 2020 from 5pm-6.30pm. For more information and to register, go here.

By Snez Kosanovic

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