GML Media Release – Launch of Reconciliation Action Plan

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For immediate release                                                                        3.00pm Monday 26 May 2014

GML to launch Action Plan in National Reconciliation Week

The launch of Gippsland Medicare Local’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) will feature in activities planned for National Reconciliation Week 2014.

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday 27 May, through to Tuesday 3 June, National Reconciliation Week encourages the building of better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians.

Gippsland Medicare Local Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Quigley, said the RAP outlined GML’s strong commitment to improving the wellbeing and longer term health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“GML envisages a Gippsland region and indeed a country where our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to quality health services resulting in a measurably healthier community,” he said.

“We recognise that the considerable gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and fellow Australians in life expectancy and overall health outcomes is unacceptable, and this Plan is part of our commitment to reducing that gap.”

Mr Quigley said National Reconciliation Week was an opportunity for Gippsland people to improve their cultural awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in local communities.

“GML staff have undergone extensive cultural awareness training and we are grateful to the many people and organisations who have assisted us in developing our knowledge,” Mr Quigley said.

Mr Quigley emphasised that the process of true reconciliation required a real commitment to improving relationships, respect and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We recognise that living in a country where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can live with dignity, access good health care and share the same advantage, is not achieved by our organisation alone,” he said.

“GML will be working very hard over the next 12 months to further build our meaningful and positive relationships that foster and enhance reconciliation aims across our diverse Gippsland region.”

GML will formally launch its Reconciliation Action Plan at the Bataluk Cultural Trail, Knob Reserve, Stratford, on Thursday 29 May at 12.00pm.

Further information on GML’s Reconciliation Action Plan can be accessed on the GML website at: https://www.gphn.org.au/community-information/indigenous-health/ or by calling GML’s Close the Gap team on (03) 5126 2899.

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