Reconciliation can mean many things to many people. In Australia it is mostly about building better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians.
On 19 December 2016 the fourth Queensland Health Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation (PDF, 372KB) was signed by the Director-General, Queensland Health and the Commissioner, Queensland Ambulance Service.
The Queensland Health Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation 2016 seeks to:
- recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Traditional Custodians,
- acknowledge the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures, and
- acknowledge the impacts of past government policies.
Further, it reiterates the Queensland Government commitments under the Council of Australian Governments towards closing the gap in life expectancy and halving the gap in child mortality, and articulates that all Queensland Health staff have responsibilities to achieving those commitments.
Every employee of Queensland Health is expected to acknowledge, understand and respond to the following statements in their every day work practices:
- improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's health is everyone's business;
- all Queensland Health staff are bound by the Queensland Government commitment to close the gap in health inequities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Queenslanders;
- services must be culturally sensitive and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
- we acknowledge and respect the diversity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures and their right to equitable, accessible and quality health care; and
- cultural capability, just like clinical capability, is an ongoing journey of continuous individual learning and organisational improvement, in order to ensure best practice in health service delivery.