Brisbane South PHN was proud to launch their Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Tuesday 14 August with an Indigenous smoking ceremony, paying respect to the traditional custodians of the Brisbane south region and cleansing the way for new beginnings.

Brisbane South PHN CEO Sue Scheinpflug said the launch was a culmination of many months of growth and development during the organisation’s journey from Innovate to Stretch RAP.

“Our original RAP was prepared when Brisbane South PHN had an internal Closing the Gap team, which played a significant role in representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the organisation,” Ms Scheinpflug said.

“When this team was outsourced to the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, we needed to rebuild and strengthen our role in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health within our region.”

Throughout the process of developing the Brisbane South PHN RAP, priority was placed upon recognising the work that had already taken place and was currently happening within Brisbane South PHN.

For Brisbane South PHN Indigenous Program Manager and member of the RAP Working Group Deanne Minniecon, “it was really good to reflect on some of this work across our organisation”.

“Right across the organisation our teams are contributing to making improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and want to be involved in learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the culture,” Ms Minniecon said.

“We are strengthening existing relationships while building new ones, raising awareness and taking great pride of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and seeking opportunities to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations.”

“These are just some of the steps we will undertake to progress our work in the reconciliation space, with an aim to improve health outcomes for our community.”

Brisbane South PHN Board Chair Ian Williams said the Stretch RAP has been developed in recognition of the important role Brisbane South PHN has in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to close the gap and meet their aspirations for strong and healthy lives

“To fully deliver on our commitment, it needs to be top of mind. The full adoption of this Reconciliation Action Plan is pivotal to our PHN’s success in achieving fundamental change,” Dr Williams said.

“Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been in our region for thousands of years and we have much to learn from them.”

A key feature of the RAP is the Community Heart concept, which demonstrates that the core of health is the heart. This concept creatively explores the idea of community health as a living subject that connects and delivers life and strength to all, and a common ground which fuels Brisbane South PHN’s united passion to improve health outcomes for all Australians.

The Brisbane South PHN Stretch RAP focuses on fostering relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, increasing organisational knowledge about Indigenous culture and history, demonstrating respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, increasing opportunities for Indigenous peoples within Brisbane South PHN and improving health outcomes.

These actions have been championed by all members of Brisbane South PHN, ensuring that everyone has a role and accountability to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Brisbane south community.

To read the Brisbane South PHN Stretch RAP, visit http://bit.ly/BSPHN_RAP.

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