Reconciliation Action Plan

South Western Sydney PHN's (SWSPHN) commitment to building respect and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people underpins our contribution towards achieving meaningful gains in Aboriginal health. 

Our organisation is continuously developing its reconciliation commitments. We do this using the structured approach provided by Reconciliation Australia, the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Framework. 


What is a Reconciliation Action Plan? 

A Reconciliation Action Plans aims to provide organisations with a structured approach to advance reconciliation. We launched our first plan, the Reflect RAP, in January 2019 and our second RAP, the Innovate RAP in July 2021. 

Learn more about Reconciliation Action Plans 


How are our RAPs enabling SWSPHN to contribute to reconciliation? 

SWSPHN’s RAPs have enabled our organisation and staff to contribute to reconciliation by: 

  • Turning our good intentions into action by fostering and embedding respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their histories and culture 
  • Enabling staff to develop greater cultural competency and professional development practices which will strengthen relationships with internal and external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders 
  • Building and encouraging relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, organisations and the broader Australian community 
  • Working towards improved health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South Western Sydney, with the support of a structured framework 


What activities are we already undertaking? 


  • We have turned our good intentions into action with activities including staff cultural competency training and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dates of significance, and by updating our Code of Meeting Practice to include an expectation an Acknowledgement of Country was provided. 
  • We also have a strong focus on recruiting, retaining, consulting and supporting the professional development of our First Nations staff. 
  • We’ve reviewed our HR policies to remove any barriers to participation in our workplace, and are more effectively advertising job vacancies to reach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and increase the number of identified First Nations staff in our workforce. 


  • Enhance the cultural knowledge and understanding of GPs, nurses and others working within general practice to improve the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to mainstream primary healthcare services 
  • Work with local Elders and the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and other government and non-government organisations, to develop services tailored to our local communities 
  • Developed A Journey into Sorry Business booklet in partnership with local Aboriginal Elders, the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council and South Western Sydney Local Health District. The booklet supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share their wishes and preferences for their end-of-life care through ‘sorry business’ – cultural practices and protocols associated with death – by providing easy-to-read information specific to South Western Sydney 

Reconciliation Action Plans

Reconciliation Australia has so far endorsed two SWSPHN RAPs: 

Dates of significance

About the Innovate RAP artwork

SWSPHN CEO, Dr Keith McDonald PhD and artist Danielle Mate
SWSPHN CEO, Dr Keith McDonald PhD and artist Danielle Mate

Local artist, Danielle Mate, was commissioned to create an artwork that represented the role of SWSPHN. 

Here is the story: 

The centre oval represents South Western Sydney GPs, practice nurses and other primary care providers. The large U shape which wraps around the central oval represents the support PHNs provide to local primary care providers. The seven segments within this U shape represents the seven local government areas SWSPHN supports. The lines which lead from the centre oval to the community symbolise the role of these primary care providers to ‘feed’ information to their clients and the wider community. The connected shapes are people, each shape is represented differently, to symbolise their individual needs. The outer u-shaped layer around the people shows the information building which strengthens them, allowing them to make well informed choices. Seven background layers represent the national health priorities. 

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