The Australian College of Optometry recognises the past treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how colonisation has impacted on their health. Our vision for reconciliation is to work collaboratively and walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities, to heal our national soul, address inequity and achieve justice by contributing to closing the gap in eye health outcomes. We believe that reconciliation is an ongoing journey, which we aim to enhance by building meaningful and mutually respectful relationships.
The artwork represents the long journey of the local wildlife swimming down the Murray River. The cross-hatching and the line-work in the border patterns represent what we go through in life: our experiences, struggles and achievements. The Murray River stays the same and is always going to be there, as our home.
A Reconciliation Action Plan provides the ACO with a roadmap for reconciliation through the setting of strategic goals that are realistic, achievable, appropriate and measurable.
The RAP strengthens our strategic plan by reflecting the key values of the ACO: care, purpose, respect, collaboration, innovation and delivery. The RAP promotes staff development and growth, through strengthening cultural competency and cultural safety in the organisation. It also guides the organisation and keeps the ACO accountable in the process. The RAP further strengthens the patient experience and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders. The RAP demonstrates a commitment to employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with ACO. Fundamentally it demonstrates our respect to the First Nations peoples of this country, and it will contribute to closing the gap on eye health.