Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Reconciliation is everyone’s business and at CALHN, we recognise Always Was, Always Will Be and acknowledge that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

During NAIDOC week, 8-15 November, the network celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, peoples, histories and stories across a series of events and displays, including a Welcome to Country with SAHMRI and afternoon tea education at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

NAIDOC is enjoyed not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

At a recent Leaders Within session, Frank Wanganeen shared the importance of sharing and embracing the Kaurna language and celebrating the cultures of Aboriginal people.

Language is important for transmitting knowledge, ideas and shared meanings within and across cultures and generations.

“Building an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures within our community is crucial to Aboriginal people’s health, social, economic and emotional wellbeing, and the overall unity that contributes towards reconciliation,” CEO Lesley Dwyer said.

“Taking the time to learn some Kaurna language is just one of many ways in which we can demonstrate our respect for Aboriginal cultures and languages.

“To be able to build genuine relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers, staff and volunteers feel welcome and respected, we need to improve our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and how this impacts on their healing.”

To help highlight this, CALHN’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health & Wellbeing Hub team have put together two videos considering what they wish others knew about Aboriginal people and culture, and why culture is so important to healing.

In August 2020 CALHN launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP will guide, support and hold us accountable as we uphold our values and make reconciliation a reality.

We are now seeking nominations from staff to join the Central Adelaide Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) implementation working group, which willl oversee implementation of the RAP’s actions and will report on progress to Reconciliation Australia.

Reconciliation is about building and encouraging relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, fostering and embedding respect for culture and community and developing opportunities within our organisation to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

It asks us to challenge our norms and take action to improve the culture within our organisation, for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers and colleagues.