Today, on the 10th Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generation and their Descendants, SAHMRI will launch its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for February 2018 – February 2020, which has received endorsement from Reconciliation Australia.
What is a RAP, and why is it important to SAHMRI?
RAPs are practical plans of action to help advance reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians in workplaces and beyond, and they help build understanding, promote meaningful engagement, increase equality, create sustainable employment opportunities and other positive outcomes in these environments.
Since its inception, one of SAHMRI’s priorities has been to incorporate Aboriginal health research across all of its research and as a key platform of SAHMRI business – Aboriginal health is something that is at the heart of everything the team at SAHMRI does.
As a new and developing health and medical research institute, SAHMRI has the opportunity to develop a platform for Reconciliation that can have a far-reaching impact on staff, research projects and in turn the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and broader community.
A RAP will influence the work of the Institute, as well as the interactions and potential outcomes of key research partners both here in South Australia and across Australia.
A landmark occasion
SAHMRI’s Executive Director and RAP Committee Co-Chair, Professor Steve Wesselingh, said that the development of SAHMRI’s inaugural RAP provides guidance and strong pathways to embed Aboriginal communities into all aspects of the organisation’s work.
“Our Aboriginal health theme has led the way in many aspects of our work, including strong community engagement and it is now time to learn from and enhance these relationships across all the ground-breaking research occurring within SAHMRI,” Professor Wesselingh said.
Professor Alex Brown, SAHMRI’s Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit Theme Leader and SAHMRI RAP Committee Co-Chair, added that the launch of the RAP is a milestone in SAHMRI’s history.
“Through our adoption of a RAP, SAHMRI is committing itself to conducting research that is appropriate and meets the needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, provides an environment that fosters Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, and supports the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers,” Professor Brown said.
“While SAHMRI is at the beginning of its journey, we recognise that Reconciliation provides the foundation for improving the health outcomes and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”