Longstanding Health Care Provider strives towards Cultural Competency and Healthier Communities

Some of the regions key health industry leaders and professionals converged on Mount Isa’s Ibis Styles Tuesday evening for the launch of longstanding health care provider North and West Remote Health’s (NWRH) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and Strategic Directions.

Following the organisations Annual General Meeting guests were invited to the special function which launched NWRH’s newly endorsed RAP and highlighted the organisations strategic direction moving past 2016.

Operating as a health care provider in and around Remote Western Queensland since 2001 and servicing some 39 communities; NWRH specialise in outreach and locally based health services to some of Australia’s most remote discrete Aboriginal communities.

An expansive geographical area providing challenges including access to services and extreme remoteness, NWRH are also extremely conscious of the need to promote mutuality in respectful relationships with the many Indigenous communities they service; hence the steps to develop the RAP and processes that support the organisation to develop and embed cultural competence.

Speaking more on what the RAP means to the organisation and communities in which they service NWRH Board Chair Phil Barwick provided the following statement.

“How we engage our client base and the strategic and operational intent of NWRH has always been to recognise and respect Australia’s First Nations peoples. The Traditional Owners and local Custodians across our delivery area are central to building service delivery relationships that are respectful and safe, and broker protocols that lead on to Cultural Security.”

“Reconciliation is many things to a primary health care organisation like ours. We acknowledge that its influence can fluctuate like cycles of business do, so recently we have embarked on a number of practical fronts that steer our push to achieve a level of reconciliation in real time across our delivery geography.”

“We are now on the cusp of reconciliation having its rightful role in our future as an agent of health delivery into Indigenous Australia. The fact that we are now finalising the development of policy augured by reconciliation action is testimony to our intent. This action reflects a whole of organisation strategic context which I believe is encompassed by our Reconciliation Action Plan.”

Also speaking at the launch function NWRH Manager of Indigenous Initiatives Steve Thomson highlighted some of the steps achieved to date on NWRH’s RAP journey including; registration and endorsement of NWRH Reflect RAP by Reconciliation Australia (independent national body for promotion reconciliation), establishment of documented protocols for Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country, the introduction of Cultural Foundation Training, an Indigenous Employment Strategy and a Culturally informed Grief and Loss Policy.

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