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Annual Report 2022/23


We continue to work toward our vision for reconciliation

The past 12 months has seen the completion of our work towards CESPHN’s second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and the preparation of the third CESPHN Innovate RAP. The RAP’s underpinning themes continue to focus on the key foundations of relationships, respect, opportunities and governance.  

The RAP reinforces our commitment as an organisation to fostering positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, and ensuring our practices and programs reflect this vision. Our external Aboriginal Advisory Committee has provided advice on the development of the new plan and its strategies.  

Internally the RAP working group has met monthly to track and monitor our progress against implementation of the RAP whilst developing new strategies and refining activities for our next iteration. 

Commitment towards Reconciliation

Highlights this year include

  • 95% of CESPHN staff have completed cultural awareness training.
  • New staff inductions for specific CESPHN cultural training, protocols and engagement guidance documents have taken place each month.
  • Cultural training and trauma informed training for CESPHN mental health professionals has continued to be well utilised. 201 licenses have been issued in total.
  • During National Reconciliation Week, Brett Hugo was announced as the winner of the annual Staff Aboriginal Excellence Award.
  • Staff were invited to a range of educational cultural immersion activities:
    • Painting with Amy Lea Hill-Trindall. Amy is the artist who we commissioned our Aboriginal art from in the previous year. We utilise the artwork for our staff Teams backgrounds and on Aboriginal documents and PowerPoint training slides.
    • A series of Walk on Country events were organised with Uncle Dean Kelly and Kevin Heath.
  • A combined meeting between CESPHN Board of Directors and Aboriginal Advisory committee was held, to discuss future priorities, strategies and Closing the Gap targets.
  • We have conducted a review of current recruitment and retention strategies with the aim of increasing the number of CESPHN employed staff who self-identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This work will continue.

In total we were able to fully complete 47 of our 56 RAP actions for the second Innovate RAP for 2021-23. Outstanding actions have been reviewed for continuation in our future RAP for 23-25. 

CESPHN staff attended a Walk on Country with Uncle Dean

“I really loved Uncle Dean’s approach to the day and his perspective on looking at our world and humanity so positively. Especially as a Baha’i, a lot of his comments really resonated with me as I really loved the opportunity to explore the role of spirituality in our everyday life and our connection to land. It was also cool to see how Uncle Dean shared his knowledge with the younger generation and accompanied them in leading the activities.”
“Something Uncle Dean said about culture really stuck with me – to keep something, you have to give it away. Uncle Dean (and others) are so generous with sharing their history, cultural and practices with all people and I think we all need is to open our minds and hearts to receive this sharing of knowledge and culture. I love that Uncle Dean got us to really slow down and be present. I want to take that into other parts of my life and work.”
“It was really moving to be in the presence of people that uphold and value their culture, and to see how strong their connection is to the land, to nature and to each other. I feel like we often hear the stories/history of Aboriginal peoples from a trauma perspective (which is necessary and important), but yesterday was an opportunity to value and celebrate how present and alive (and joyful) Aboriginal culture is. I feel privileged to have had a glimpse into that world.” 
“Thanks for organising the walk on country. It was such a rejuvenating, peaceful and meaningful session”.