Last updated: 06 Nov, 2020

VicHealth’s commitment to better health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is outlined in our new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Key messages

  • Reconciliation Australia endorsed the VicHealth Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan in October 2020.

  • The RAP states our intention to work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to meet locally identified needs in culturally appropriate ways.

  • This is VicHealth’s second Innovate RAP and outlines our continuing journey to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • Between 2020 and 2022 VicHealth will implement actions and initiatives across 4 categories: relationships, respect, opportunities and reporting.

 

About the VicHealth Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan

Download: VicHealth Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan for the years July 2020 to June 2022 (PDF, 11 MB)

VicHealth is proud of the reconciliation journey we have undertaken to date. Through the new initiatives outlined in our RAP, we will continue to develop this important and collaborative work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, partners and community members.

VicHealth’s second Reconciliation Action Plan focuses on our vision for reconciliation; that health, respect and equity will be rightfully restored to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It cements VicHealth’s commitment to work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and continue to meet locally identified needs in culturally appropriate ways.

Development of this RAP would not have been possible without the advice of Traditional Owners from across Victoria who are personally acknowledged in the RAP. VicHealth will continue to seek their advice as we implement the actions over the next two years, both individually and through the formation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.

 

Our front cover artist: Stuart Farquhar 

Dot painting of fish in stream

“This story is about my grandfather and grandmother taking the family out,
showing them all about how to survive in this hard land.”

Stuart Farquhar is a Gunaikurnai artist, whose paintings are notable for their tightly concentric patterns and Stuart’s preference for vivid blue tones. Gunaikurnai people comprise five clans and are the traditional owners of Gippsland, in Victoria’s south-east.

Stuart has been exhibiting since 2019 with The Torch, a program that delivers the Statewide Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community Program, aiming to reduce the disproportionately high rates of Indigenous incarceration and recidivism in Victoria.

Learn more about The Torch

 

RAP actions and deliverables

Building strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria is a priority for VicHealth, to better understand their needs and to build on VicHealth’s own cultural awareness and understanding.

These actions and deliverables include four main areas:

  • Relationships: promote health by encouraging people to work together with a shared vision for a healthier future.

  • Respect: support and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorian communities through our ongoing health promotion activity.

  • Opportunities: tackle systemic obstacles and advocate for better opportunities throughout Victoria for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

  • Report: governance, tracking progress and reporting by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Case studies

VicHealth’s RAP outlines VicHealth’s key promotion activities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over the past few years. These include:

Surfing Victoria: Indigenous Surfing Program
For 20 years, VicHealth has partnered with Surfing Victoria to work with communities across Victoria to develop the Indigenous Surfing Program. The program was developed in close partnership with the Wathaurong community.

Learn more about The Indigenous Surfing Program

Global Indigenous Management: The Indigenous Runway Project
For the past two years VicHealth has contributed funding towards the Indigenous Runway Project. The project has provided opportunities for close to 100 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians to sample a career in modelling, fashion design, production, hair, makeup and styling.

Learn more about The Indigenous Runway Project

 

Initiatives

VicHealth has made significant moves to insert a focus on equity in all programs, campaigns, policy work, research and evaluation activity. VicHealth have invested in several different programs including:

Research centre of excellence: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit at the University of Melbourne

Sporting organisations:

Arts organisations: