Garden Village is proud to launch its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). In beginning our journey of reconciliation, Garden Village aims to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we care for as clients and consumers, those we employ or engage as volunteers, providers and partners, as well as in our broader community.
For more than 40 years, Garden Village has provided homes, care and support for ageing Australians on the land of the Birpai people. We understand that a proactive approach to reconciliation also brings about benefits for all people, including non- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our RAP implementation will be monitored and governed by our RAP Working Group (RWG). The RAP Champion is CEO Craig Wearne and the RAP Chair is Joanna McNamara Communications and Community Engagement Manager.
The journey of reconciliation aims to create a kinder and more inclusive Australia that benefits all Australians. This supports our vision for an inclusive community where people have equitable access to high quality support and accommodation that meets their unique needs.
Chief Executive Officer Craig Wearne said this RAP is an important step where we reflect on the organisation’s responsibilities towards reconciliation between First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians.
Mr Wearne said “As a multicultural organisation and one of the largest employers in the region we believe in a future where the cultures, histories and rights of First Nations people are recognised and valued by every Australian and are a proud part of our shared national identity.”
Twenty Garden Village team members undertook Aboriginal Cultural Training in November as a first step towards reconciliation. During the training facilitated by Felicity Ryan from Big River Connections employees gained an understanding of:
- Aboriginal cultures, nations & protocols, family & kinship systems
- Discrimination, myths & stereotypes
- The impact of colonisation and how this has affected contemporary Aboriginal people
- Traditional and contemporary Aboriginal identity
- How to improve communication with Aboriginal people
Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer Karen Mundine said Garden Village joins a network of more than 2500 corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation through the RAP program.
“Reconciliation Australia welcomes Garden Village to the Reconciliation Action Plan program with the formal endorsement of its inaugural Reflect RAP,” said Ms Mundine.
As an organisation, Garden Village recognises that we are at the beginning our reconciliation journey. We are pleased to be taking our first, important and foundational steps towards reconciliation with this Reflect RAP.
Garden Village encourages employees and residents to engage with the RAP Working Group and support activities throughout the year. Here are six ideas to get started.
6 Ideas to get started:
- You can read the Reconciliation Action Plan on our website.
- Download and read the Dementia Support Australia First Nations Language Guide developed for employees working in aged and health care supporting First Nations peoples. It aims to provide an understanding of why respectful and appropriate language is so important for building strong relationships with First Nations peoples and how they influence wellbeing and quality of care.
- Employees and residents are encouraged to share your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback on the initiatives and future activities by email. The RAP Working Group meets quarterly.
- Employees can watch the training video Caring for Indigenous Australians as part of continuous education and training.
- Join a ranger-guided Aboriginal cultural tour along the rainforest boardwalk in Sea Acres National Park. You’ll go on a unique journey of discovery and learning.
- Attend the Saltwater Freshwater Festival Saturday 1 June 2024 – Annual Aboriginal Cultural Festival or visit the free Saltwater Freshwater Art Exhibition at the Glasshouse from February to 31 March 2024.
Credit (C) Little Glimpses Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance