Aboriginal workforce set to double as Western health launches action plan

NEW PLAN: Professor Tom Calma (centre) speaks with Brendon Cutmore, Kirsty Glanville, Di Wykes and Scott McLachlan. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

NEW PLAN: Professor Tom Calma (centre) speaks with Brendon Cutmore, Kirsty Glanville, Di Wykes and Scott McLachlan. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The Western NSW Local Health District plans to double its Aboriginal workforce under its first and 2017/2019 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

It will also appoint an “Aboriginal identified” executive director and ensure Aboriginal representation on its board.

Under its current RAP the health district will engage the services of at least one other Aboriginal business.

A RAP document released by the health district at a forum on Thursday has multiple and wide-ranging targets that form part of its “commitment to improving Aboriginal health”.

Reconciliation Australia has provided the framework for the health district’s RAP.

The organisation’s co-chair Professor Tom Calma launched the RAP, one of more than 900 already activated in NSW.

Professor Calma understands the health district is the first of its kind in NSW to implement a RAP.

The health district’s chief executive Scott McLachlan singled out the Aboriginal workforce target during a break in the forum of Aboriginal health workers.

Currently, about 300 or 4.72 per cent of the health district’s 7000 employees are Aboriginal.

“We expect to reach 9.4 per cent of our employment of Aboriginal staff in the next three years,” Mr McLachlan said.

The chief executive said the RAP was developed by Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal executive and senior staff of the health district.

He said the health district could make a difference in health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

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