Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) launched its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2018, marking an important step in the organisation’s reconciliation journey.
The RAP, formally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, outlines NQPHN’s strong commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within North Queensland.
The RAP helps to build a culturally-aware workforce, improve upon appropriate practices, and strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. With an organisational purpose to drive change within and support primary health care to improve individual and community health, NQPHN recognises the importance of an inclusive and culturally-appropriate approach towards our core business activities.
The RAP guides NQPHN to improve its relationship and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Its development reflects a deep-seeded commitment by the NQPHN Board and its Members to assure the actions and programs developed by NQPHN are culturally relevant, safe, and give due consideration to the aspirations of our nation’s First Peoples.
Specifically, NQPHN developed its Reflect RAP to:
- acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by continuing to build an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customs, values, and traditions through ongoing education
- improve relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in our region
- build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to ensure more effective and relevant engagement, and make meaningful contributions to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our region
- inform NQPHN’s commissioning activities and procurement to improve clinically and culturally-safe and accessible primary health services, including championing connected and integrated service commissioning actions wherever possible
- support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and services in identifying and securing resources that meet locally-identified health needs
- demonstrate NQPHN’s continuing focus and commitment to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan and other State and national policy frameworks which aim to Close the Gap
- support workforce development actions which assist to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, and communities.
Queensland PHNs sign historic Australian agreement to improve Indigenous health in Queensland
On Wednesday 11 September, the Queensland Primary Health Networks (PHNs) joined with the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) to sign an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Canberra at the National PHN Conference.
This MOU signing saw leaders from all seven PHNs across Queensland and QAIHC join forces and commit to working together to improve Indigenous health in Queensland.
It is the first type of agreement in Australia between a peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisation and multiple PHNs and is based on shared principles, mutual recognition, and supports future collaboration between the two parties.
QAIHC CEO Neil Willmett said that this is great news for the more than 186,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in Queensland.
“All of our organisations have been striving to improve health outcomes in Queensland. Working together will now assist accelerate improvements though a much needed collaborative approach,” Mr Willmett said.
“Each of the seven PHNs in Queensland is proud to be part of this historic MOU,” said Abbe Anderson, Chair of the Queensland and Northern Territory PHN CEOs group.
“All PHNs are committed to improving health outcomes for First Nations peoples, and we recognise the importance of working with the Community Controlled Sector to achieve these outcomes.”
QAIHC Chairperson Gail Wason said improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is far more complex than most people think.
“Poor health is a harsh reality for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, we are working to change this. Agreements like this brings together expertise and leadership and will improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Queensland,” Ms Wason said.