November 11th, 2020

Anton Barnett-Harris

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Physiotherapy Council

The Australian Physiotherapy Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation who are the Traditional Custodians of the land where our workplace Village is located and we pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

This week is National NAIDOC Week (8 – 15 November 2020) and is a great opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. NAIDOC invites each one of us to reflect on the past, and consider what future steps we can take in reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those of us who come from various nations around the world.

What has the Council been doing on our reconciliation journey?

A key influence on the Council’s work to increase our cultural awareness and safety as an accreditation and assessment body, is Ahpra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020 – 2025. This strategy helps inform how accreditation authorities, such as the Physiotherapy Council, will contribute to better health outcomes for First Nations Australians.

This year we were honoured to welcome Aunty Dr Doseena Fergie OAM (read her profile here) and Danielle Manton (read her profile here) onto the Council’s Accreditation Committee. With both coming from First Nations backgrounds, as well as being esteemed health professionals, we believe they will make an important contribution to the Council’s ongoing work to positively influence the physiotherapy profession in becoming more culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Since January 2020, all overseas trained physiotherapists who apply for assessment through the Council, will need to complete our online Cultural Safety Training program. This program provides thorough training on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and how to treat patients in a culturally safe approach.

The Council’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launched mid 2019, has provided focus for intentional steps and progress we are making on our reconciliation journey.

In closing, this  NAIDOC Week 2020, we encourage each person who lives on the lands of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to continue seeking a pathway forward to reconciliation.

From Anton Barnett-Harris on behalf of the Council Village

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