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St Vincent’s Health launches Employment Parity Initiative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce

December 2016

St Vincent’s Health Australia will increase its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to 500 employees by 2020 as part of its commitment to the Commonwealth Government’s Employment Parity Initiative (EPI).

The announcement was made today at the official launch of the health and aged care organisation’s EPI with special guest, Senator the Honourable Nigel Scullion, Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

St Vincent’s Health Australia – the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care service provider – said, under the EPI, 3 per cent of the organisation’s employees would be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander by the end of 2020, reflecting parity with the number of Indigenous Australians in the national population.

“Since our origins more than 175 years ago, St Vincent’s Health Australia has worked alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to both improve their access to health services and strengthen communities,” said St Vincent’s Health’s CEO, Toby Hall.

“Now, through our Reconciliation Action Plan and by becoming a signatory to the EPI, we’re committed to increasing and sustaining our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce across all our hospitals and aged care facilities.

“Becoming a signatory to the EPI isn’t just a hiring exercise. Among other things, it also means having in place the strategies to retain Indigenous staff through mentoring, by providing career pathway opportunities, and other professional support; it means creating a culturally safe work environment, including having culturally respectful policies and practices.

“It’s early days – as new signatories to the EPI we’re still at the stage of putting in place the processes that will help us achieve our goal – but we’ve made a good start.

“Currently St Vincent’s Health employs around 70 people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and in roles as varied as administration, physiotherapy and nursing. We hope to see that diversity continue as we increase the number of employees in the years ahead.

“There’s no question meeting our goal will be a challenge, but the organisation has devoted its energy and resources towards it, and we’re excited at the potential of the new employees we will be bringing into the organisation,” said Mr Hall.

Media contact: Paul Andrews 0409 665 495

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