The Aboriginal Cultural Activities Policy provides information and guidance to support NSW Health facilities and its staff in understanding, organising and engaging in Aboriginal cultural activities.
The goal of the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013-23, developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW, is to work in partnership with Aboriginal people to achieve the highest level of health possible for individuals, families and communities. The Aboriginal Cultural Activities Policy forms part of a broader set of strategies to achieve this goal through understanding, respecting and representing Aboriginal world-views.
- Aboriginal cultures and their language groups are many and varied; there is no truly homogeneous Aboriginal culture. Every community, while sharing some common beliefs and practices, is unique. Aboriginal culture is rich in custom and beliefs transferred through generations during ceremonies and other practices which relate to Aboriginal peoples connection to Country.
- Health service organisations are encouraged to create welcoming and safe environments for Aboriginal people. The design of the service and layout of the facilities from both a functional and cultural perspective should be considered. This approach is supported by the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care resources which include effective, evidence-based strategies to support health organisations to improve care for Aboriginal people through the implementation of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.
- Cultural activities are the intellectual property of Aboriginal people and as such, providers of these services are entitled to appropriate remuneration. It may be incorrectly assumed that Aboriginal people may participate in cultural activities without payment. However, it is appropriate that they be paid for their time, expertise and knowledge, just as it is for any other artist or professional.
Aboriginal people are the first peoples of Australia and have strong cultures and communities. NSW Health is committed to closing the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. This commitment means ensuring recognition and respect for Aboriginal people and the importance of working in partnership is reflected in policy and embedded in practice. A culturally responsive and respectful health system is essential to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people and every employee in the NSW Health system has a valuable role to play.