HammondCare has today announced its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), designed to understand the needs of First Nations peoples.
Chief Executive Officer Mike Baird said this RAP, announced during NAIDOC week (July 3 – 10), is an important step and shows HammondCare is sincerely engaging in the process of reflecting on the organisation’s responsibilities towards reconciliation between First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians.
“It’s part of our Model of Care to really get to know people, learn about their strengths, passions, pain, challenges and experiences; tailoring our response to promote dignity, comfort and quality of life,” Mr Baird said.
“We can’t lay claim to success in our relationship-based care approach if we ignore, or are careless with the past and present realities of First Nations people – whether among the people we care for, or staff or more broadly in society”
Mr Baird said HammondCare recognised the organisation has much to learn and understand as part of the healing journey.
“Our approach must be to listen to First Nations people to truly understand their experiences and their needs,” added Mr Baird.
The RAP statement, featuring artwork by proud Ngarrindjeri woman and HammondCare employee Tanya Conlan, outlines partnerships and current activities nationally, including connections with First Nations health networks and health providers by HammondCare’s dementia support arm, Dementia Support Australia (DSA). Read the RAP here.
Among its ongoing commitments, and to celebrate NAIDOC Week, DSA released a First Nations Language Guide to help staff use respectful, inclusive and positive language when working and for First Nations residents, clients, patients, staff and partners. This initiative by DSA won the 2021 Future of Ageing Award’s Indigenous Communities category – read more about this winning entry.
A number of commitments and meaningful actions are included in the RAP such as ensuring all HammondCare staff receive First Nations cultural training, distributing First Nations country and language guides to all HammondCare locations, and partnering with local groups and stakeholders to deepen our local ties to Indigenous groups and traditional land owners.
In a statement, Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer Karen Mundine said HammondCare joins a network of more than 1100 corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation through the RAP program.
“Reconciliation Australia welcomes HammondCare to the Reconciliation Action Plan program with the formal endorsement of its inaugural Reflect RAP,” Ms Mundine said.