27 May 2022

National Reconciliation Week 2022

27 May to 3 June 2022

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, ‘Be Brave. Make Change.’ is a challenge to all Australian individuals, families, communities, organisations and government to ‘Be Brave’ and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can ‘Make Change’ for the benefit of all Australians.

Last year Reconciliation Australia encouraged all Australians to take action; not just in National Reconciliation Week but every week of the year. They saw the unprecedented response to their suggested actions for every day and for braver action. This year Reconciliation Australia is asking everyone to make changes beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are asking for a genuine commitment by all of us to support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative and co-operative reforms. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rural Remote Practitioners Network (ARRPN) Committee, on behalf of the ACA has sought to hear that call and is working actively towards ‘Closing the Gap’.

As an Association, our core vision is for more Australians to value and experience chiropractic care for their health and wellbeing. This vision cannot be achieved to its fullest extent in Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island population without acknowledging the history and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, building respectful and collaborative relationships and working in partnership to deliver culturally safe care.

ACA commenced its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) journey with the launch of our ‘Reflect’ RAP in 2019. The next step in this journey is the ‘Innovate’ RAP which has been sent to Reconciliation Australia. Once the conditional endorsement is received, we will be publishing our Innovate RAP for all members to see. As with the previous RAP, we have worked hard to make sure that the second phase of our RAP has a chiropractic flavour, so all members can feel that they have a real ownership.

Cultural competency training seeks to break down the barriers of misunderstanding and prejudice regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples so that they can feel comfortable and safe seeking help from all ACA chiropractors. The ACA held its first phase of Cultural Competence training in late April where ACA staff and Board were in attendance. This training will then be made available to all members at the ACA Conference in Sydney later this year.

The cultural competency training is a commitment that the ACA have made to Reconciliation Australia. This training will continue to be made available until all ACA members have undertaken the experience. The construction of the training package has taken a number of years to organise, drawing on experts such as Ken Hayward who will be the main facilitator for our program. It is a pity that our biggest supporter, former CEO Dr Matthew Fisher is no longer part of this experience, but I am sure those who do participate will gain much by doing so.

A way that you may consider supporting reconciliation or starting your journey, is to read the ACA’s Reflect RAP at chiro.org.au/rap and watch our RAP video. You could join the ARRPN Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the latest activity and information in this space by searching ‘ACA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rural Remote Practitioner Network group’. You could also utilise resources from Reconciliation Australia to recognise National Reconciliation Week in your practices via reconciliation.org.au, or search for an online event to participate in.

ARRPN on behalf of the ACA continues to be in contact with various organisations to actively work in areas that show commitment and results. We appreciate your continued support of the Association’s reconciliation journey. Your support ensures our commitment to reconciliation ‘takes action’.