The ADC is proud to release its first Reconciliation Action Plan - The Australian Dental Council

The ADC is proud to release its first Reconciliation Action Plan

The ADC is proud to release its first Reconciliation Action Plan
19 May 2022 samara.williams


Today the Australian Dental Council released its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. This is a significant milestone for the organisation, signifying the first formal step in our reconciliation journey.

To mark the occasion, the Board of Directors and the ADC team came together for a special RAP release event. We were honoured to have Wurundjeri dance group and Traditional Custodians of Narrm, Djirri Djirri acknowledge Country and perform a series of dances.

Attendees also participated in a panel discussion on the importance of reconciliation and the role of RAPs in an organisation’s reconciliation journey. The discussion was facilitated by RAP Working Group Co-Chair and the ADC’s Director, People and Culture, Tara Waller, and featured:

  • Dr Gari Watson, Goreng Goreng, Gangulu and Biri Gubba man, RAP Working Group Co-Chair, and President of the Indigenous Dentist’s Association of Australia
  • Kirrily Phillips, proud Gumbaynggirr woman and RAP Working Group Member, and
  • Narelle Mills, ADC Chief Executive Officer.

Other key themes of the panel included the importance of the Reflect RAP in the ADC’s own reconciliation journey and the role it plays in shaping the pathways for dental practitioners to provide culturally safe healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The event closed with the unveiling of our RAP artwork ‘Commitment to reconciliation’ by Lani Balzan, a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wiradjuri people of the three-river tribe.

Following formal proceedings attendees were treated to a delicious lunch by the wonderful Mabu Mabu, proudly owned by head chef Nornie Bero. Originally from Mer Island in the Torres Strait, Nornie has been a professional chef for over 20 years.

The Reflect RAP

The ADC joins Australian corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

Our Reflect RAP is largely internally facing and will set the ADC up with the knowledge, frameworks, and capability we need to continue our reconciliation journey. All actions identified within the RAP will be owned by one of our senior leadership team (SLT) members and all SLT members will have RAP implementation identified as one of their KPIs for the life of this RAP and future RAPs we develop and implement.

Reconciliation has long been a key focus area for the ADC, as evidenced in the recent reviews of the ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs and the Professional competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner, explains ADC Chief Executive Officer, Narelle Mills.

“Reconciliation in the context of the Australian healthcare sector has long been a passion of mine. While the ADC plays a small role in a large healthcare sector, its role in reconciliation is significant.”

“Our Reflect RAP works to promote reconciliation, build respect, and raise cultural awareness. It builds the formal foundations of our reconciliation journey. This journey is continuous, and I look forward to working with the ADC team, committee members, Board, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, and our stakeholders on the implementation of our Reflect RAP,” Narelle said.

We would like to thank the RAP Working Group (the Group) for their contribution to the development of the Reflect RAP. Made up of nine representatives from inside and outside the ADC, the Group was co-chaired by Goreng Goreng, Gangulu and Biri Gubba man and President of the Indigenous Dentist’s Association of Australia, Dr Gari Watson, and Tara Waller, Director, People and Culture. The Group was fundamental in bringing our RAP to life and will drive the implementation and reporting of the Reflect RAP across the ADC.

Stay tuned to our website over the coming year for updates of our work against our Reflect RAP.

Download our Reflect RAP

About the RAP artwork

Lani Balzan sitting next to the ADC RAP artwork

This artwork represents the ADC’s role in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. When creating this artwork, I wanted it to symbolise the importance of reconciliation and how the ADC is proud of its journey towards its future – just as I was proud in having the opportunity to create this piece.

About the artist

Lani is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wiradjuri people of the three-river tribe. Her family originates from Mudgee, but she grew up all over Australia and lived in many different towns. She now calls the Illawarra home.

Lani is a nationally recognised Aboriginal Artist and has been creating art for over six years and has continued success across the country.

One of her biggest goals and inspirations with creating her artwork is to develop a better connection to her culture and to continue to work towards reconciliation bringing people and communities together to learn about what amazing culture we have here in Australia.