As part of National Reconciliation week the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is launching RACS' first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in support of RACS' commitment to reconciliation.
Reconciliation is about building better relationships between RACS, the Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians.
- Relationships - Improve and extend our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to enable us to better equip the surgical workforce to meet the needs of all Australian communities.
- Respect - Engender respect and enhance cultural competency amongst the surgical workforce.
- Opportunities - Promote an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows, Trainees and staff by creating an organisational culture that values and encourages opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Tracking progress and Reporting
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the 10th anniversary of the Reconciliation Action Plan program. The RACS Indigenous Health Committee and RACS executive led the development of the RAP in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia and RACS staff.
The RAP will assist RACS to contribute towards reconciliation through developing relationships, respect and opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation Australia has advised over 650 organisations across Australia have generated close to 4,000 partnerships as a result of participation in the Reconciliation Action Plan program.
As part of the June edition of Surgical News all Fellows, Trainees and IMGS will receive a two page summary of the RAP.
The theme of National Reconciliation Week 2016 is "Our History, Our Story, Our Future" more information on National Reconciliation week is available from Reconciliation Australia.
This artwork design was created to symbolise the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons commitment to help Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage across Australia.
With dual concepts in mind, the artwork design features two snakes winding around the winged staff symbolising medicine, and can also be seen as Rainbow serpents entwined together carving out the land, creating our rivers and mountains.
The white dotted pathways descend from the mountains, flow through the rivers and ascend back to the skies reforming as rainbows, the spirit of the serpent.
Symbolic of medicine, the two snakes winding around the winged staff also symbolise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non Indigenous people coming together.
The heights of the rainbow also symbolise greater professional equity, as well as improved health, social and economic well being for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across Australia.
The Reflect RAP is one of four types of RAPs including Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate.
The Reflect RAP is intended to guide organisations starting out on their journey towards reconciliation and to build the foundations for relationships, respect and opportunities.