Community, collaboration and yindyamarra as SHPA  reflects on reconciliation

Community, collaboration and yindyamarra as SHPA reflects on reconciliation

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has marked National Reconciliation Week by sharing new artwork that will frame its 2023 Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, to be released in NAIDOC Week in July.

The artwork is by Chrystel Galea, an Indigenous woman from the Wiradjuri Nation now living on the land of the Girai wurrung people, Eastern Maar, in rural Victoria, who explains the values of yindyamarra.

‘The story of SHPA's Reconciliation Action Plan highlights the values of community, collaboration and yindyamarra, a Wiradjuri term that encompasses respect, honour and responsibility.

‘These values are also important for smoking ceremonies which serve as a way of welcoming people into the community and holding meaningful conversations. ‘Smoking Ceremony’ tells this story.

‘The artwork features a bundle of decorated Eucalyptus leaves emerging from a smoky background. The bundle is surrounded by more symbols of community, communication and respect, all of which reinforce the importance of the values of yindyamarra of local Country, in Naarm.’

SHPA Board Director and Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Committee Chair Olivia Rofe says the reconciliation process for the SHPA team is centred on returning to collaborate, in person, after years of being apart.

‘Through partnership with local Elders we look forward to the formal opening of our new office space in Naarm (Melbourne), which will see us gathering on Country to further our mission and support of our members.

‘This frame is important, as we ensure meaningful change is embedded at the heart of our organisation, first. In future years, it will expand to encompass our members, their professional peers and all patients in their care.

‘Throughout our journey, we will maintain unwavering focus on improving positive health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is at the core of SHPA’s mission and partnerships.’

SHPA President Tom Simpson says the organisation continues to prioritise advocacy toward healthcare equity for First Nations Australians.

‘SHPA is proud to support the “Yes” vote in the upcoming referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution.

‘Last month we welcomed the Federal Budget’s $315 million to support culturally appropriate and safe aged care services, as well as build the capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to better support cancer care needs.

‘We continue to advocate for the Closing The Gap PBS Co-payment Measure to be expanded to include public hospitals, and recently welcomed the Australian Senate’s agreement, in principle, to address this oversight in the current program.

‘Reconciliation is about both personal and collective action and SHPA is committed to ensuring the advanced expertise of leading pharmacy practitioners is harnessed to improve the lives of all Australians, safely and fairly.’