At the Benchmarque Group, we are passionate about reconciliation. Our vision is to create an environment that recognises, embraces and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledge, and cultures.
In May 2020, Benchmarque Group had our first Innovate RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and have since been delighted to include our colleagues at accessIQ in the development and delivery of our 2022-2024 Innovate RAP.
Some of our achievements since the time of implementing our first RAP are:
Integrating our RAP commitments into our day-to-day business which includes an Acknowledgement of Country at the beginning of our meetings, in our email signatures and on Zoom. We also have Acknowledgement of Country signage out the front of our office.
The team have continued to celebrate NAIDOC and National Reconciliation weeks, and we have further invested in our cultural safety training with a series of virtual and in-person training. Most recently, Eddie Moore from Nyuka Warra ran a session on cultural safety and Voice to Parliament for internal staff during Reconciliation Week this year.
We have proactively sought input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the design of our courses, an example being our Chronic Disease Advisory panel, made up of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health professionals.
In 2021 we developed and launched a new online course, Promoting Participation in the National Immunisation Program, supported with funding from GSK. Upon launch, the program was made available at no cost for individuals working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Benchmarque Group had an opportunity to upskill Registered Nurses (RNs) to become recognised Nurse Immunisers with funding from the Australian Government DoH in 2021. In line with our RAP commitments, we offered funded positions to RNs working in ACCHOs and have supported 51 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Nurses, and 119 Nurses working in ACCHOs—18% of our total allocation— to become recognised Nurse Immunisers. In addition, while our funding did not cover those working in the Northern Territory, we were delighted to provide our own sponsorship for 11 Nurses from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC).
Since 2019, we entered into a partnership agreement with The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) to support the delivery of an online program for the Nursing and Midwifery professions. This program, Murra Mullangari: Introduction to Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility, was launched on National Close the Gap Day in 2022.
We have just introduced an Organisational Self-Assessment Tool, which will allow us to gauge where we stand on the implementation of the RAP process, policies and strategies across the business. Also, to identify what improvements we can make so all internal staff are aware of the changes we have made to better implement RAP deliverables.
We have continued to work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations such as: NACCHO’s, CATSINaM & NAATSIHWP. We also have more opportunities to work with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations in the pipeline.
Achieving our vision of reconciliation requires us to strive to achieve authentic change, to be active and respectful listeners, storytellers and leaders within our industry, and to be part of an ongoing conversation with our customers, our stakeholders, and our students about the importance of reconciliation and our commitment to this process.
View our full RAP here