Homes North operates across a vast area that incorporates a diverse collection of communities. We recognise that to provide the best service to our communities we need to understand different cultural protocols and practices. Our Reconciliation Action Plan plays an important role in the work we do connecting with our communities. It is our guide to how Homes North progresses into a culturally mature organisation.
Above clockwise from top left, Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group members, Andrew Parker, Talitha Holzhauser, Nickie Murcell, Maree McKenzie, John Kleeman and Alphena Banfield.
Homes North will achieve better outcomes when we are able to offer culturally sensitive services and supports through appropriate policies, processes and training. The purpose of reconciliation is to forge new relationships based on mutual understanding, recognition and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, non-Indigenous Australians and Australian Government. Our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and Committee have initiated a new plan for the next two years that will further consolidate the work done previously to provide a culturally safe workplace and culturally appropriate service provision for our clients.
Our Road Map
Homes North’s Reconciliation Action aims to:
1 / Increase Aboriginal employment and retention across the organisation. To achieve this, Human Resources is working closely with the Reconciliation Action Plan Committee and Working Group, consisting primarily of Aboriginal staff, to support this goal through a trainee program and Aboriginal staff support network.
2 / Provide training on cultural awareness, reducing cultural insensitivity, and making our cultural risk assessments practical and useful tools used by all staff.
3 / Have all staff able to provide services the way our Aboriginal clients want.
4 / Implement our Sorry Business Policy which has strengthened the way in which we respond to an Aboriginal death. It provides a guide on tenancy succession for family members who have also been living in the home, for catering support at funerals and a catering pack to help family with visitors at home.
Reconciliation Plan Principles
From the formal documents, like our Reconciliation Action Plan, to our behaviours and practices, we strive to value diversity.
Capacity for cultural self-assessment
We are building in self-assessment at all levels in our organisation, from our frontline workers to our Board, and have committed to this as a regular practice.
Dynamics of cultural interaction
We strive to be conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact. We aim to build trust through genuine and open dialogue, so we can have the space to create understanding.
Institutionalised cultural knowledge
We understand it is not enough to just have specialised staff with cultural knowledge. Every single staff member in Homes North is key in building and maintaining cultural knowledge, as well as the way we design our policies and systems.
Adapting service delivery
We are adapting our service delivery in way that reflect a deep understanding of cultural diversity, so services genuinely accommodate the needs of individuals and community.