Mackay HHS launched its Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today as part of NAIDOC Week.
Today we showcased the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and celebrated the role of women.
Mackay is one of the first hospital and health services in Queensland to have developed its own Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“As a hospital and health service we are in a powerful position to bring about change and do some meaningful work to improve life expectancy and infant mortality rates,” Board Chair Tim Mulherin said.
“We are making progress and while there is some great work and encouraging improvements in the data, the gap is not closing rapidly enough and we need a collective and renewed effort,” he said.
Mr Mulherin said the Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation was a visual and public statement of how we will achieve this.
“It’s more than words – it is a commitment to definite actions across the health system,” he said.
This statement has developed in consultation with Traditional Custodians from within our HHS geographical boundaries, namely; Yuibera, Yuwibara, Barada Barna, Wangan, Jagalingou, Wiri, Gia, Ngaro, Juru, Birriah, Koinmerburra and Jangaa peoples.
The statement is promise to:
- strengthen the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in governance arrangements and health service planning;
- Increase the number of people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who work for the health service and
- Seek input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations when we make decision.
Regional Indigenous Operations Policy Manager Trudi Sebasio said this year’s NAIDOC event would honour the role women play in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
“It’s important moment for the community to reflect on where we have come from, the struggles we overcame, achievements we have made, and to recognise the women that supported and sacrificed so that others could achieve,” she said.
In line with the 2018 NAIDOC Week theme “Because of her we can”, Mackay Base Hospital’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit sought community nominations of the under-recognised females that influence and support others’ journeys.
A total of 11 awards were presented to recognise the achievements of these women both in the home and workplace.