AGPAL Group supports the ‘Closing the Gap National Agreement’
The AGPAL Group of Companies acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands. We wish to pay respect to their Elders – past, present, and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to play within our communities.
For the first time, the National Agreement was developed in genuine partnership between Australian governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations. Feedback was obtained through extensive engagements in 2019 with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.
The AGPAL Group is proud to work with hundreds of Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services, including peak bodies and the Community Controlled Sector, to achieve and maintain a high standard of quality care. Closing the gap of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health among communities is crucial to the health and life expectancy of these communities. We recognise the crucial role these organisations play in upholding the rights and implementing health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Ensuring these services provide a level of care that is equal to those servicing non-Indigenous Australians ensures a tangible level of equality across all Australian health and community service providers. We commend all organisations who undergo quality improvements, which assist in helping to close the unacceptable gap in life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
AGPAL Group Reconciliation
The AGPAL Group acknowledges and understands that we can do and be better in terms of our cultural competency. We want to improve to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the best of our abilities.
Throughout our programs and services, we are working with our external and internal stakeholders to strengthen the cultural safety and cultural diversity of our organisation and the organisations that engage with us.
With the guidance of the AGPAL Group Reconciliation Action Working Group (AGRAWG), we are committed to conducting our business and providing programs, products, and services that reflect mutual respect, goodwill, equity, and social justice.
We are committed to doing our part in working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve “A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and provides Justice and Equity for all.” – Vision of Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation 1997.
Our AGPAL Group Reconciliation Action Working Group (AGRAWG) is made up of eight of our staff, with members from various states and teams across Australia, many of whom identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
AGPAL Group Reconciliation Action Plan
Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is an organisation turning good intentions into real actions and rising to the challenge of reconciling Australia. A RAP is a business plan that uses a holistic approach to create meaningful relationships, enhanced respect, and promote sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The RAP program includes four RAP types: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, and Elevate. The AGPAL Group is at the Reflect RAP stage. As of March 2021, the AGPAL Group Reflect RAP is currently under review with Reconciliation Australia after initial review and feedback. We anticipate a further review and approval within the first half of 2021.
Working towards better culturally safe accreditation provision
Our decisions and our actions when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations will be guided by our Reconciliation Statement. As part of our Reconciliation RAP, throughout 2021 the AGRAWG and the AGPAL Group are working towards:
- Building and maintaining community partnerships with key peak bodies across Australia and at a state level to broaden our understanding and knowledge of first nations people of Australia
- Developing a strategy to engage and recruit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Assessors, Auditors, and Surveyors, and to ensure our non-identifying contracted workforce are culturally safe. This allows the AGPAL Group to deliver accreditation, certification, and verification to first nations organisations with confidence.
- Offering Cultural awareness and training for our staff, both online and in-person, with state-based training from local communities and Elders.
- Participating in and celebrate significant events, including, but not limited to, Harmony Day, Close the Gap Day, Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day, Mabo Day.
- Implementing protocols for culturally appropriate communication and interaction.
- Raising internal understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols for culturally appropriate communication and interaction.
- Developing inclusive employment practices that encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to apply.
- Displaying cultural partnerships within our offices by ensuring acknowledgment of the land each office is on is proudly displayed.
- Renaming meeting rooms to reflect local tribe language and our offices are having the artwork commissioned in 2019 displayed prominently.
- Displaying prominently at our Brisbane head office the formal Australian Government National Apology by former Prime Minister The Hon. Kevin Rudd, framed and displayed.
- Display of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, LGBTQ and trans and gender diverse flags, along with the Australian flag at our Brisbane head office.