Our Vision for Reconciliation

As a profession, our vision for reconciliation in Australia is a society that values and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge, connection to land, and ways of healing. We envision a society that is free of institutional racism and where justice and healing has occurred through acknowledgment and acceptance of the wrongs of the past and their intergenerational effects.

As a voice in the health community and as a profession of integrity, we acknowledge our responsibility to ensure all Australians participate equally and equitably in all areas of life. The opportunity remains for our profession to become culturally safe in our various roles as physiotherapy professionals, medical experts, researchers, educators, advocates, and collaborators. In turn, we aim to make our collective contribution towards reconciliation in Australia.




Reconciliation Action Plan - Innovate 2017-2019

Building on the foundations laid in the APA’s first Reconciliation Action Plan, the second iteration, Innovate RAP 2017-19, has at its core the practical steps the profession can take to move towards reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The APA’s Innovate RAP 2017-2019 provides us with the opportunity to create a culturally safe and sensitive profession. The current focus of our efforts to ‘Close the Gap’ in life expectancy is on education of current and future physiotherapists who are culturally safe and sensitive, with the goal of ending any trace of institutional racism present in our profession.

Through the implementation of this RAP, it is our hope to provide physiotherapists with opportunities to help close the gap in their communities, educational institutions and hospital settings.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) will play a significant role in guiding the implementation of the Innovate RAP, alongside the APA leadership team which will have stewardship of its key responsibilities. Our ATSIHC comprises Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clinicians and researchers, and reports directly to the APA Board of Directors. The ATSIHC has ex-officio membership of APA National President Phil Calvert, a champion of the RAP, broad support from APA CEO Cris Massis, also a champion of our RAP, and additional members with experience or a passion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.


Cultural safety for Australia’s first peoples

What is cultural safety?  

How is cultural safety developed?  

What are the benefits of cultural safety?  

How APA members can develop a culturally safe environment in their practice?  


Education programs

Cultural orientation plan for health professionals  


Reconciliation: our journey continues

Find out more by visiting the October issue of InMotion. Read about the APA reconciliation journey, hear from those who helped shape the plan,those who incorporated its tenets into education and professional realms and those to which its objectives have a deeply personal connection.


National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW), 27 May–3 June, offers us an opportunity to reflect on our individual and collective commitment to reconciliation. This year’s theme 'Don’t keep history a mystery' invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, and to share that knowledge to help us grow as a nation.

The date of NRW each year commemorates two significant milestones in our reconciliation journey—the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. Visit Reconciliation Australia website for more information.

You can also visit the get involved web page for inspiration and to see what activities are planned in your local area to commemorate the NRW.