Innovating for a just and reconciled Australia

The Women’s works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure all women and babies achieve optimal health and wellbeing.
2 June 2022 | Reconciliation

The Royal Women’s Hospital is celebrating National Reconciliation Week with the launch of its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Wurundjeri Elder Thane Gannaway-Garvey kicked off our event on 1 June with a Welcome to Country.

Speakers Dr Vicki Couzens from the Women’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee and the Women’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer Cinnamon Bliss-Henry provided insight into the progress that has been made in Australia – and at the Women’s in particular – toward reconciliation, and reflected on the road ahead.

Introducing the Women’s Innovate RAP

The Innovate RAP was officially launched by the Women’s Chief Operating Officer Lisa Lynch, who said the two-year plan aims to strengthen the Women’s reconciliation work.

 It will do this by:

  • further embedding culturally safe practices at our hospitals
  • improving employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and
  • increasing our collective understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

“It’s an ambitious plan,” Ms Lynch said. “I feel confident that together, we can achieve our goals.”

“The actions and deliverables within the Innovate plan will touch on every corner of the Women’s. These include: co-designing of services and models of care; employment and procurement opportunities; and cultural learning programs.”

Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) cover.
Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) cover.

Looking ahead toward a better future

Dr Vicki Couzens said reconciliation action plans are important tools to support social and cultural change as we work toward an equitable and reconciled Australia.

“Reconciliation is about healing and about caring for each other. We can only make a better world and become better people if we commit to reconciliation,” Dr Couzens said.

“The things that we're doing and implementing in organisations like the Women's are foundational to broader changes within Australian society toward a better future.

“We are in a time of rapid change.”

The Women’s reconciliation journey

The Women’s Innovate RAP was developed by a Reconciliation Working Group made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. 

A key group of Aboriginal Elders, respected community advisors and consumers who make up the Women’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee oversaw the development of the plan.

The Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan is the second stage in the Women’s reconciliation journey. It follows on from the successful delivery of the Reflect Reconciliation Plan 2020-2021.

The Reflect RAP was about:

  • establishing relationships with  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • building cultural awareness and
  • developing and updating guidelines and processes across our hospitals.

The Innovate RAP builds on these foundations.

Download the Women’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.