Our commitment to opportunity and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians has come a long way since the introduction of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2012.

Now firmly rooted within the organisation and part of our culture, the actions we are implementing are about change and delivering on our objectives.

Our most recent 2014-16 RAP achieved endorsement as a Stretch RAP by Reconciliation Australia, reflecting our stronger commitment to set clear targets where we can make a real and tangible difference.

We are now at the midpoint of this Plan and we are on track to deliver.

The challenge is significant, yet we are determined to make a difference.

Traineeships for Indigenous students

An important new action in our approach has been the introduction of Medibank’s Indigenous Employment Strategy, an organisation-wide strategy that promotes greater employment equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Under this strategy, in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment specialist Maxima, we have initiated a new Indigenous School Based Traineeship Program for senior secondary school Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Seven young trainees have commenced roles in Medibank within our retail outlets as part of the program. The experience gained in the traineeship will be credited towards a certificate in Business at the end of their studies.

Che-Louise Cockatoo-Hewitt is 17 and from the Northern Territory. Through her traineeship at Medibank’s Casaurina Store in Darwin she has broadened her education outside the classroom with hands-on learning about the business of health.

“In the beginning I was very quiet but it didn’t take more than a couple of months to settle in and feel like part of the team. My manager and the rest of the Medibank team have been very supportive and I’ve really enjoyed learning from and contributing to the team” – Che Louise

Listening before acting

We understand that actions towards reconciliation should be guided by those who understand the issues, and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and individuals who are trusted and respected by local communities.

Our Medibank RAP Advisory Council comprises leaders from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health communities and plays an important guidance role. Ongoing partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and funding grants are part of our localised approach.

Widening our reach for reconciliation

Medibank has led the Health Reconciliation Industry Networking Group (RING) which aims to combine efforts and resources in the health sector to address the health-related inequities that exist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Representatives from across the industry including competitors, stakeholders, community partners and policy makers first came together in November 2014, chaired by Medibank. The group has agreed to come together to work collaboratively, share information and identify actions to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Attendees at the Health Ring Meeting November 2014 included:

Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australian Unity, BUPA, Cancer Australia, Federal Department of Health and Aging, Fitness Australia, Fred Hollows Foundation, The Heart Foundation, Johnson and Johnson Medical, Leukaemia Foundation, Medibank, Mental Health Australia, Mental Health Coordinating Council, MS Australia, National Health and Medical Research Council, Ramsay Health Mildura, Reconciliation Australia, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, St John of God Health Care, St Vincents Health, The Australian Psychological Society Limited, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and VicHealth.

Indigenous education for opportunity

In FY14/15 we continued to partner with Yalari to help support its national scholarship program that links Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the educational opportunities at some of Australia’s leading private schools.

In 2014, 27 students completed Year 12 with the help of a Yalari scholarship with 21 graduates going on to study at university or TAFE.

Medibank is proud to have contributed to Yalari’s work and shares the hope that, with the help of education, many of these students will become our leaders of tomorrow.

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