Mental Health First Aid Australia recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first Australians.
Our formal organisational commencement of a journey towards reconciliation in 2022 signifies the important first step of accountability to all First Nations peoples and each other – to acknowledge the past, to make intentional organisational changes regarding current ways of working, and to build a strong and united future together.
Mental Health First Aid Australia has been a long-term advocate for the need to support the level of mental health literacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through mental health first aid education. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid Program has evolved over time from evidence-based course curriculum for the general population, to a suite of courses that are rich with important cultural components that facilitate the dissemination of mental health first aid knowledge and skills.
Self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians has shaped our course delivery model and proudly we can say that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Aid courses for all Australians are delivered nationally by more than 150 accredited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Instructors. Our commitment to enabling and empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to deliver mental health first aid education drawing on their own individual and collective cultural knowledge is unwavering.
But still, as an organisation and workforce there is much more for us to learn. We must strive to work differently and to work better. Every one of us can grow as we continue our own reconciliation journey.
We have made a commitment to commence the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan in 2022. This is a key part of our Operational Plan for the year, and aligns strongly with the objectives in our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. We look forward to working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, Trainers, Instructors and other stakeholders, and within the guidance and framework provided by Reconciliation Australia, so that we can take tangible action that results in meaningful change in support of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is everyone’s business, and it is also the business of Mental Health First Aid Australia.