Reconciliation Action Plan

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine acknowledges the Wurundjeri People, the Traditional Owners of the land upon which the ACEM head office is located in Melbourne, Australia. ACEM also acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which Australian emergency departments are located, and Elders past, present and future; for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

Overview
Relationships
Respect
Opportunities
Tracking Progress and Reporting
'Spirit of Well-Being'

ACEM developed its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for 2017- 2018, an agreed strategy to further the College’s commitment to reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples.

Our vision for reconciliation is underpinned by addressing the inequities in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Read more about our vision

The RAP builds on the elements of Relationships, Respect, and Opportunities already established in our reconciliation journey. This webpage was developed to allow you to explore these three elements in their respective pages above.

Chaired by Dr Elizabeth Mowatt, the RAP Reference Group oversaw the inaugural RAP’s development. Membership represented a wide range of groups and professions, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows and trainees, and Reconciliation Australia.

The ACEM RAP will be celebrated and officially launched 21 March 2017 on Harmony Day.


More information

Contact ACEM: +61 3 9320 0444

For general information on reconciliation visit Reconciliation Australia.
 
Although ACEM’s geographical reach is Australia and New Zealand, the RAP relates to Australia only, that is - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ACEM has an equal commitment to improving the health outcomes for Māori people. While there is alignment in some actions and deliverables for improving Māori health, this will be supported through a separate process to the RAP.
ACEM is responsible for setting standards for emergency departments and has the capacity to be an agent of change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Building strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is important for change. This will involve engaging with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander community and organisations, key stakeholders, and communication and collaboration with the ACEM membership and staff.

Since emergency departments are often the front door to the hospital it is important that they are culturally safe and competent environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Cultural safety extends to the promotion, recruitment, retention and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates undertaking emergency medicine training. 
 
Action Deliverable Timeline Responsibility1 Progress
1. Establish and maintain a Steering Group to actively monitor implementation of RAP actions, track progress, reporting and review.
 
Develop Terms of Reference and establish Steering Group, incorporating broad representation across ACEM and ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are represented. December 2016 
 
RAP Reference Group Chair  
Meet at least four times per year to monitor and report on RAP implementation. Schedule Meetings February 2017, February 2018 RAP Steering Group  
2. Communicate ACEM’s RAP to all ACEM members, trainees, staff and other stakeholders to promote reconciliation across our business and sector. Promote reconciliation through active engagement with all stakeholders.
 
December 2018  All Exec. Directors

RAP Steering Group
 
Promote reconciliation through the development and delivery of an Implementation Strategy, to communicate ACEM’s RAP to all internal and external stakeholders:  March 2017 Exec. Director C&E

RAP Steering Group

Office of CEO
 
– Printing a limited number of hard copy publications. March 2017 RAP Steering Group  
– Providing all identified stakeholders with an electronic copy of the RAP. March 2017 Exec. Director C&E  
– Engaging with the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (CENA) and the Australian College of Emergency Nursing (ACEN) for collaboration in promoting reconciliation with emergency department nurses. December 2017 Office of CEO
 
 
– Using social media and other media sources to inform a broader public audience on what ACEM is doing with its RAP. December 2018 Exec. Director C&E  
3. Celebrate and participate in National Reconciliation Week (NRW) by providing opportunities to build and maintain relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. Continue to organise at least one internal event for NRW each year and register our NRW event via Reconciliation Australia’s NRW website. May 2017, 2018  Exec. Director Ops  
Alert staff and members to Reconciliation Australia’s NRW resources. May 2017, 2018
 
IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Ensure our RAP Steering Group participates in an external event to recognise and celebrate NRW. May 2017, 2018  RAP Steering Group  
Support or promote an external NRW event.  May 2017, 2018 IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
4. Enhance and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations to support positive outcomes.
 
Develop an engagement plan to work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders in progressing the ACEM RAP deliverables: July 2017 
 
RAP Steering Group  
– Establish relationship with the Wurundjeri Elders Council to support the ACEM RAP implementation. December 2017 Office of the CEO  
 – Work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to develop guiding principles for the broader emergency medicine community to engage with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and organisations. March 2018 
 
IHSC
 
 
 – Raise cultural awareness in emergency medicine by working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representatives, primarily through representation on ACEM Councils and other relevant Committees.  Review July 2017 
 
ACEM Board

Office of the CEO
 
Continue to engage with AIDA, the LIME Network, and the Lowitja Institute to further support emergency medicine Fellows, trainees and future trainees. Review November 2017  IHSC

Exec. Director E&T
 
Continue the relationship with the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) Indigenous Health Subcommittee. Review November 2017  IHSC
 
 
Continue to collect and encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members to self-identify in the ACEM portal. December 2017  Exec. Director P&R

Exec. Director C&E
 

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1 Some action responsibility roles are abbreviated. Please refer to the Definition of Responsibilities.

 
ACEM appreciates the rich diversity within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, languages, and their lands and waters.

To do so is to recognise their histories, customs and practices (for example, men’s and women’s business, next of kin arrangements), rights, achievements, the unique ways in which they express the living of their lives, and the way in which cultural knowledge is communicated from generation to generation.

This appreciation assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ wellness to flourish.


 
Action Deliverable Timeline Responsibility1 Progress
5. Improve emergency medicine physician and trainee knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues and outcomes.
 
Develop and implement an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training strategy for ACEM staff, which defines the cultural learning needs in relation to all areas of ACEM business considering various ways cultural learning can be provided (online, face to face workshops or cultural immersion). December 2017 
 
Exec. Director Ops

 
 
Develop guidelines for emergency departments to integrate cultural awareness into the daily work practices and processes for all staff. December 2017 IHSC
 
 
Deliver a cultural competency program and cultural immersion opportunities for ACEM leadership group (ACEM Board, ACEM Foundation, Senior Leadership Team and other senior office bearers). June 2018 Exec. Director Ops  
Promote learning based on Reconciliation Australia’s Share Our Pride online tool to all staff and members through the ACEM Bulletin. May 2017, 2018 IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Ensure all new ACEM staff receive a copy of ACEM’s RAP upon commencement of employment and undertake the Indigenous Health & Cultural Competency Training Modules within their probationary period. June 2017, June 2018 Exec. Director Ops  
6. Engage ACEM members and staff in cultural learning opportunities to increase understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements. Develop and implement an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training strategy for ACEM staff, which defines the cultural learning needs in relation to all areas of ACEM business considering various ways cultural learning can be provided (online, face-to-face workshops or cultural immersion). December 2017 
 
Exec. Director Ops
 
 
7. Establish a mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows and trainees at ACEM.
 
Gain assistance/advice/support from AIDA and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and Elders in developing a quality, culturally appropriate mentoring program for Fellows and trainees. December 2017 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director E&T
 
Prepare a mentoring implementation strategy based on advice from AIDA and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and Elders. July 2018 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director E&T
 
Ensure mentors are culturally competent to mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows and trainees. July 2018 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director E&T
 
8. Promote awareness and respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural needs in emergency departments.
 
Consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to develop a recommendation for individual emergency departments to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land. December 2017  IHSC

Standards Committee

 
Based on this recommendation, draft a policy outlining the process for emergency departments to achieve the above acknowledgement. March 2018  IHSC

Exec. Director P&R
 
Maintain the Indigenous Health & Cultural Competency Training Modules, encourage ACEM members to complete these modules, and continue to allow public access. July 2017 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director E&T
 
9. Engage ACEM staff in understanding the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural protocols, such as Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.
 
Include Acknowledgement of Country in ACEM staff email signatures, ACEM’s web homepage, and at the commencement of significant internal and external meetings. February 2017 
 
Exec. Director Ops
 
 
Develop, implement and communicate a cultural protocol document for Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country. July 2017 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Continue to display an Acknowledgement of Country plaque in ACEM head office. Review July 2017
 
Exec. Director Ops  
Continue to display Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork at ACEM head office. Review July 2017 
 
Exec. Director Ops  
Obtain artists’ names and titles of these artworks, and display them beside the works. May 2017  Exec. Director Ops  
Engage with Wurundjeri Elders Council to conduct a Welcome to Country annually for the new incoming members of the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships or Council of Education meetings. March 2018  Office of CEO

IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Develop a protocol for a Welcome to Country ceremony to be performed at the Annual Scientific Meeting, the ACEM Winter Symposium and Faculty conferences. May 2017 
 
IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Develop a list of key contacts for a Welcome to Country ceremony. March 2018  IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
10. Include a component about Indigenous health and/or culture at the ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). Prepare a proposal to the Scientific Committee outlining how and why Indigenous health and/or cultural practices can be included in the ASM from 2018 ASM forward. April 2017  RAP Steering Group

Exec. Director C&E

 
11. Demonstrate respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by celebrating NAIDOC Week. Continue to provide a NAIDOC celebration at ACEM head office. First week of July 2017, 2018 IHSC

Exec. Director Ops
 
Review HR policies and procedures to ensure there are no barriers to staff participating in NAIDOC Week. July 2017 Exec. Director Ops  
Alert and promote NAIDOC Week to all emergency departments with the aim of: June 2017, 2018
 
IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
– Encouraging all emergency departments to enable all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to participate with their cultures and communities during this celebratory period. June 2017, 2018  IHSC

Exec. Director C&E
 
Enable all ACEM Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to participate with their communities during NAIDOC Week. July 2017, 2018  Exec. Director Ops  
12. Continue to recognise significant dates of relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Continue to inform staff and members about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dates of significance through the weekly bulletin, social media and other communication channels. July 2017, July 2018 IHSC

Exec. Director C&E

 
Extend an invitation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to share their experiences or stories at ACEM events, e.g. NRW events, Winter Symposium, NAIDOC Week, staff development days. July, 2017, 2018  IHSC

Exec. Director C&E

Exec. Director Ops
 

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1Some action responsibility roles are abbreviated. Please refer to the Definition of Responsibilities.
ACEM encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and graduates to consider emergency medicine as a career, with the aim of increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emergency physicians. Their increased presence and expertise will assist in making emergency departments more accessible and culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to attend, not only for quality health care, but also earlier for treatment.

This aim, combined with advocating for the employment of more Indigenous Health Liaison Officers working in emergency departments, seeks to positively influence the health outcomes of Indigenous patients throughout Australia – improving health outcome parity with other Australians. We endeavour to contribute to employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through business practices and relationships.
 
Action Deliverable Timeline Responsibility1 Progress
13. Continue to encourage and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and graduates to pursue emergency medicine as a career. Engage with AIDA, the LIME Network, Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, and existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members to better understand the factors that influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and graduates to enter emergency medicine, with the aim of increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates choosing emergency medicine as a career. December 2017 
 
Exec. Director P&R

 
 
Continue to provide and promote opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advanced Emergency Medicine trainees through the Joseph Epstein Scholarship. Review December 2017, 2018 ACEM Foundation

Exec. Director C&E
 
Continue to provide and promote ACEM Foundation conference Grants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical practitioners, medical students and other health professionals for the ACEM Winter Symposium and the ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting. Review December 2017, 2018 ACEM Foundation

Exec. Director C&E
 
Continue to provide sponsorship support for Indigenous conferences such as the AIDA Conference, the Lowitja Institute, International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress, and LIME Connection. Review December 2017, 2018 ACEM Foundation

Exec. Director C&E
 
Investigate flexibility in training options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees who have to leave their Country or Community to fulfil curriculum requirements to become a specialist emergency physician. December 2018 Exec. Director E&T  
Investigate opportunities, and encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors to undertake the Emergency Medicine Certificate and/or Diploma. December 2017  Exec. Director E&T  
Investigate the establishment of a scholarship for Indigenous doctors to undertake the Emergency Medicine Certificate and Diploma.
 
July 2018 
 
IHSC 

ACEM Foundation
 
Exec. Director C&E
 
State in all expressions of interest for ACEM programs and committees “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are encouraged to apply”. July 2018 
 
Exec. Director C&E  
14. Increase ACEM trainee exposure to Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander health issues in the curriculum.
Establish and develop a program and criteria suitable for a Special Skills Term for emergency medicine trainees in Indigenous Health. July 2018
 
Exec. Director E&T

Accreditation Subcommittee

IHSC
 
15. Provide opportunities to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professional administrative employment at ACEM. Develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander administrative employment and retention strategy, which includes: December 2017, 2018 Exec. Director Ops
 

 
 – Reviewing HR and recruitment procedures and policies to ensure there are no barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and future applicants. December 2017, 2018 Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Stating in all administrative job advertisements, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are encouraged to apply”. May 2017, 2018  Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Advertise all administrative vacancies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media. May 2017, 2018  Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Investigating the establishment of a scholarship/mentorship program for recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the administrative areas of ACEM. December 2017  Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Encourage ACEM Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to self-identify in ACEM’s employee services portal. July 2017 
 
Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Collate information on our current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to inform future employment opportunities.
 
September 2017, 2018 Exec. Director Ops
 
 
 – Engage with existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to consult on employment strategies, including professional development. July 2017, 2018 Exec. Director Ops
 
 
16. Investigate opportunities to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity within ACEM business operations. Review ACEM’s purchasing guidelines and procedures to identify any barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to supply our organisation with goods and services. July 2017  Exec. Director Ops  
Investigate the options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be the suppliers of local cultural immersion experiences. July 2017  Exec. Director Ops  
Develop and communicate to staff a list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses that can be used to procure goods and services. December 2017, 2018 Exec. Director Ops  
Develop one commercial relationship with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander owned business. July 2017  Exec. Director Ops  
Investigate Supply Nation membership for the purpose of engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to supply ACEM with their services. July 2017  Exec. Director Ops  
17. Advocate for more Indigenous Health Liaison Officers (IHLOs) to be employed in hospital emergency departments. Continue to develop a relationship with the Lowitja Institute to inform the advocacy for emergency departments to be culturally safe environments through collaborative research. December 2018  Exec. Director P&R

IHSC

 
Undertake research into the role, benefits, and costs of employing IHLOs in emergency departments. December 2018  Exec. Director P&R

IHSC
 
Draft a position statement outlining the importance of IHLOs in emergency departments that can be used to lobby hospital administration. December 2018  Exec. Director P&R

IHSC
 

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1Some action responsibility roles are abbreviated. Please refer to the Definition of Responsibilities.

ACEM aims to incorporate the RAP into all facets of its business, while also tracking and monitoring its implementation and outcomes over the coming years.

Considerable focus will be put on the achievements, along with any challenges and learnings faced as the RAP is reviewed before its expiry.



    
 
Action Deliverable Timeline Responsibility1 Progress
18. Incorporate additional responsibilities of ACEM’s RAP into relevant staff Position Descriptions. Review relevant staff Position Descriptions and include the additional responsibilities from the RAP. December 2017  Exec. Director Ops
 
 
19. Monitor and oversee RAP progress, implementation, further development and reporting. Annual reports outlining progress and implementation of RAP to ACEM Board, Indigenous Health Subcommittee and other relevant committees. September 2017, 2018 RAP Steering Group  
20. Report RAP achievements, successes, challenges and learnings to Reconciliation Australia. Report RAP progress via the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia annually. September 2017, 2018 RAP Steering Group  
Investigate participating in the RAP Barometer. April 2018  RAP Steering Group  
Investigate the development and implementation of systems and capability needs to track, measure and report on RAP activities. December 2017  RAP Steering Group  
21. Report RAP achievements, challenges and learnings. Ensure RAP achievements, challenges and learnings are publicly available on the ACEM website. February 2017  Exec. Director C&E

RAP Steering Group
 
22. Commence review of RAP prior to expiry of current RAP. In partnership with Reconciliation Australia, develop a new RAP to align with ACEM’s Strategic and Business Plans. December 2018  RAP Steering Group  
Send draft RAP to Reconciliation Australia for feedback and endorsement. December 2018  RAP Steering Group  

1Some action responsibility roles are abbreviated. Please refer to the Definition of Responsibilities.
Spirit of Well-Being depicts the connection between the body, mind and spirit. It highlights the importance of striving to maintain well-being in all areas of our lives, to live the happiest and healthiest life possible. Contemporary, bold and energetic, the work combines traditional symbols of peoples’ meeting or gathering places, representing the collaboration between ACEM and Indigenous communities working together to achieve the RAP’s aims.

Luke Mallie, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist, created Spirit of Well-Being for ACEM. His mother is from the Kuku Yalanji Nation, north of Cairns and his father is from Kubin Village on Moa Island in the Torres Straits. His traditional culture and family merge with influences from popular culture and modern design to create his own contemporary artistic style, which uses the rich colour palette of the tropical surroundings he grew up in. His aim is to inspire and empower others to use their culture as a strength and to perform to their own full potential. Encouraged by his family to draw since a young child, Luke majored in painting for his BA in Visual Art at the Queensland College of Art. Luke’s art is on display at ACEM's head office in West Melbourne.