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Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2018

RANZCP Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2018 [PDF; 9 MB]

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) vision for reconciliation is one in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have equal access to mental health and psychiatric care in a culturally appropriate environment.

The RANZCP recognises and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of Australia, and their continuing spiritual connection to land and sea.

We value the culture, history and traditions that are important components of the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples. We acknowledge that these essential elements contribute to the social and emotional well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To this effect, the College supports the recognition of Australia’s first peoples in the nation’s founding document, the Constitution, as a policy initiative that will strengthen and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.

The Reconciliation Action Plan 2016–2018 adds to the College’s effort in advocating for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have access to culturally safe mental health and psychiatric care. It is a step towards a ‘stretch’ model for reconciliation; aiming to ensure accountability and transparency for the actions taken by the College, including measurable outcomes.

Development of the plan was led by the College’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee and is strongly supported by the RANZCP Board. Implementation of the plan will be led by the Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Group and will be monitored by the Board.

Reconciliation Australia provide advice and formal endorsement of final Reconciliation Action Plans. Further information is available on the Reconciliation Australia website.

Reconciliation Action Plan launch

 
  Wurundjeri elder Bill Nicholson and RANZCP President-Elect Kym Jenkins at the Reconciliation Action Plan 2016-2018 launch.

The RANZCP celebrated the launch of its second Reconciliation Action Plan 2016–2018 at the bi-national offices in Melbourne. The special event was attended by members of the College’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee and College staff. Attendees were honoured by the presence of Wurundjeri elder, Mr Bill Nicholson, who performed the Welcome to County and RANZCP President-Elect, Dr Kym Jenkins who formally launched the plan. 

This was a significant occasion for the RANZCP. The launch highlighted the importance of reconciliation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as the RANZCP’s continuing vision to contribute to the reduction of inequality in mental health outcomes felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

RANZCP achievements 2014–2016

Since the introduction of the Reconciliation Action Plan 2014-2016, the RANZCP is able to report on the following achievements:

  • The RANZCP Fellowship Training Program now provides trainees with the opportunity to undertake training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s mental health. This is also a step towards the promotion of cultural competence with the acquisition of knowledge of communities and the mental health issues they face.
  • Online resources to support culturally appropriate mental health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been launched, including an updated College position statement in support of the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
  • Cultural and historical respect has been upheld by acknowledging the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land before every RANZCP event and meeting. Plaques of acknowledgement have also been installed in the RANZCP Head and Branch offices.
  • Establishment of the Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Group has driven the implementation of the RAP and the development of the new plan for 2016-2018.
  • Several College activities have helped to increase awareness and discussion of mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, including presentations at key internal and external conferences and events by members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee; the hosting of community booths at the RANZCP Congress in 2014 and 2015; and an annual exhibition booth at the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association conference since 2011.
  • The RANZCP is now a signatory on an Accord with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
  • Commemoration of key calendar dates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. 

Further information

RANZCP position statement on Recognition of Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution [PDF; 72 KB]