Women’s Health West launches its own Reconciliation Action Plan

Cohealth aboriginal community development worker Crystal Harris with Elly Taylor of Womens Health West. Image by Dennis Manktelow

When David Jones adopted a reconciliation action plan (RAP) two years ago, the retailer made national headlines.

Now, Reconciliation Australia estimates more than 800 major Australian companies develop their own RAPs each year.

Women’s Health West (WHW) is the latest organisation to come up with their own RAP, in a bid to improve health outcomes for Indigenous people in the west.

Elly Taylor, one of the WHW directors working on the new plan, says she hopes the blueprint will help develop stronger relationships with Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander women and children.

“We now have some dedicated positions in our family violence program to work with Aboriginal women and children, so they receive tailored services,” Ms Taylor says.

She says the plan outlines WHW’s vision for reconciliation.

“It is a list of actions we will undertake to increase programs and services for Aboriginal women and children.

“The actions are varied, and different members of staff at WHW have committed to undertake them within a set period of time,” she says.

Those actions range from celebrating significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island dates throughout the year to increasing the take-up by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and young people in sexual and reproductive health programs.

“This provides really concrete action, strategies and commitments,” she says.

The document will be officially launched last Wednesday at WHW’s Footscray office.