SHPA celebrates 2021 NAIDOC Week

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) reinforces its ongoing commitment to reconciliation as an integral part of sustainable pharmacy practice as NAIDOC Week commenced on Sunday.

Concluding on Sunday 11 July, 2021 NAIDOC Week coincides with Board sponsorship of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) process for SHPA, as the organisation works toward a ‘Reflect’ plan of meaningful actions in its Reconciliation journey.

SHPA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Leadership Committee Chair and Yugambeh woman Aleena Williams says this year’s theme ‘Heal Country!’ highlights that the wounds of our country and peoples are visible in the lands and waters around us. 

‘This year’s theme calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.

‘For SHPA members this carries additional layers of meaning as we are medicine specialists. Indigenous Australians were our first pharmacists. Country has provided medicines and healing throughout history, still does today, and as medicine specialists we need to acknowledge our connection to Country.

‘Many of us in pharmacy practice are proud of our environment and seek opportunities to reduce environmental impacts as we deliver and improve patient care. I encourage everyone to get out and Heal Country, participate in NAIDOC activities near them, and most importantly ngari (celebrate – Yugambeh).’

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the organisation is committed to a RAP that turns good intentions into measurable outcomes.

‘Our 200-strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Specialty Practice stream is a strong example of this commitment and we look forward to building our organisational respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by continuing to embed observance of cultural protocols, celebration of annual Reconciliation events and advocacy to improve professional opportunities.

‘A RAP provides a framework for SHPA to consolidate and enhance these foundation activities while better supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members as we, together, support all hospital pharmacists and technicians to address systemic racism in their professional settings.

‘This is the right time to make a real impact.’

Download the media release.