Dr Harry Nespolon
BMBS, DipRACOG, FRACGP, FACLM, BEc, LLB (Hons), MBA, FAICD, MHL
I am pleased to introduce The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP’s) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for 2020–22. This is the second RAP for the RACGP and is a significant step in our reconciliation story.
Our vision is for a healthcare system free of racism. As the peak organisation representing over 41,000 general practitioners, the RACGP has a critical role to play in realising change. Racism makes people sick; there is no room for racism in healthcare.
This RAP forms part of our commitment to this vision through establishing a culturally safe organisation that supports continuous education and learning for staff and members. It has been developed in the same year we mark the tenth anniversary of the National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Through the faculty, we have demonstrated our enduring commitment to reconciliation – strengthening our partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart and continuing our involvement with the Close the Gap campaign.
The anniversary is an important reminder of some of our greatest achievements and key lessons for the future. The most significant is that Aboriginal health is everybody’s business and we all have a part to play in achieving our vision. We understand that responsibility does not sit with one person or one team but with all of us, as individuals and as a community.
Through implementing our RAP, we will continue to contribute to the ultimate goal of achieving equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
I am proud to introduce you to our second RAP.
(Dr Harry Nespolon prepared this message before he passed away on 26 July 2020.)
This is the RACGP’s second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). In previous roles I have been honoured to be involved in initiatives designed to help close the gap between the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those of other Australians. Some of these initiatives have been a highlight of my working career.
I believe the RACGP has a critical role in this issue and, as CEO, it is something that I see as an essential part of our existence.
The RAP is every single staff member’s responsibility, and we want to create activity for everyone to get involved in and advocate for change. This RAP embeds the importance of creating an inclusive culture at the RACGP – one that is culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If we get it right in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, we get it right for everyone.
There is one clear message at the heart of this plan – that we advocate for equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It is my pleasure to launch this second RAP.
Chief Executive Officer
Reconciliation Australia commends The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) on the formal endorsement of its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Commencing an Innovate RAP is a crucial and rewarding period in an organisation’s reconciliation journey. It is a time to build strong foundations and relationships, ensuring sustainable, thoughtful and impactful RAP outcomes into the future.
Since 2006, RAPs have provided a framework for organisations to leverage their structures and diverse spheres of influence to support the national reconciliation movement.
This Innovate RAP is both an opportunity and an invitation for the RACGP to expand its understanding of its core strengths and deepen its relationship with its community, staff and stakeholders.
By investigating and understanding the integral role it plays across its sphere of influence, the RACGP will create dynamic reconciliation outcomes, supported by and aligned with its business objectives.
An Innovate RAP is the time to strengthen and develop the connections that form the lifeblood of all RAP commitments. The RAP program’s framework of relationships, respect, and opportunities emphasises not only the importance of fostering consultation and collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, but also empowering and enabling staff to contribute to this process.
With over 2.3 million people now either working or studying in an organisation with a RAP, the program’s potential for impact is greater than ever. The RACGP is part of a strong network of more than 1100 corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations that have taken goodwill and intention, and transformed it into action.
Implementing an Innovate RAP signals the RACGP’s readiness to develop and strengthen relationships, engage staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, and pilot innovative strategies to ensure effective outcomes.
Getting these steps right will ensure the sustainability of future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives, and provide meaningful impact toward Australia’s reconciliation journey.
Congratulations to the RACGP on your Innovate RAP and I look forward to following your ongoing reconciliation journey.
© 2021 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners