Australasian College for Emergency Medicine launches inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan

Dr. Elizabeth Mowatt presents a copy of the RAP artwork to Jacqui Gibson. 

ACEM has proudly celebrated the release of its first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), as it continues its reconciliation journey.
 
The RAP, which is an agreed strategy to further the College’s commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, was appropriately launched on Harmony Day.
 
“The message of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’,” said FACEM Dr Elizabeth Mowatt, Chair of the RAP Reference Group.  
 
“And for those not familiar with the idea behind the day – it aims to engage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity and foster a sense of belonging for everyone. I think it is a very fitting day to officially launch ACEM’s first Reconciliation Action Plan.”
 
The launch – kicked off with a traditional smoking ceremony and didgeridoo performance – was a chance for everyone involved in the RAP’s inception to celebrate the hard work put into the document and the work ACEM is already doing around reconciliation.
 
RAP launch guests and ACEM staff take part in a smoking ceremony 

“For ACEM, our commitment to reconciliation is the culmination of a considerable journey,” said ACEM President Professor Anthony Lawler, “Led by some of our founding Fellows, ACEM has long worked to create better systems, built on respect, and cultural awareness, seeking better outcomes for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori peoples.”
 
“Through the commitment and determination of the College’s Indigenous Health Subcommittee, ACEM has funded indigenous health scholarships, developed cultural competency training modules and contributed financially to a range of important indigenous medical organisations.”
 
Anthony was quick to point out, however, that the launch of the RAP was just one step in an ongoing journey.

“For my fellow Board Directors and senior College office bearers, I challenge you to lead the College’s commitment to reconciliation through your workplace and in your local community,” he said.
 
“We can do this by encouraging emergency departments to develop environments that show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their cultures and knowledge.
 
“And a crucial aspect of what we all must do, is to foster ongoing relationships that support efforts to recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates in specialist emergency medicine training.”

ACEM will continue to work with Reconciliation Australia to review the RAP at the end of 2018 in order to develop a new plan for action.  
 
 Left to right: Dr Elizabeth Mowatt, Artist Luke Mallie and ACEM President Professor Anthony Lawler  
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