'Our door is open; everyone is welcome, and no one gets left behind’.
Here at Mater, we are determined to make change as we embark on our reconciliation journey. Mater’s Mission is to serve together to bring God’s mercy to communities through compassionate, transforming, healing ministries. That Mission must encompass reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In co-operation with Reconciliation Australia, Mater has developed its first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan – or RAP.
Our Reflect RAP requires us to:
Our RAP Steering Committee is co-chaired by our CEO Dr Peter Steer and Adrian Carson, CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
Our RAP will focus on:
Mater's reconcilation artwork
Mater’s reconciliation artwork – The Heart to Heal, the Strength to Grow is a beautiful and breath-taking work of art created by, David Williams of Gilimbaa.
That artwork is much more than a two-dimensional image. It is multi-layered and has many meanings. It maps Mater’s own journey of reconciliation – across our four ministries of health, foundation, education and research. It recognises Mater’s Mission and values and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people’s knowledge, customs, lore and culture.
It reminds all Mater People that Reconciliation must be central to everything we do. Mater’s Reconciliation journey will take time … but thanks to David and our RAP Steering Committee, we made our first step.
Demonstrating our commitment
Some recent examples of commitment:
- Birthing In Our Community program – a joint initiative between Mater Mothers', the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services Brisbane. BIOC supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with a culturally-appropriate care model that gives them access to their own midwife and family support worker throughout pregnancy and birth. BIOC has led to improved health outcomes for babies and mothers, including increased birth weights and lower rates of premature birth. The aim of the BIOC partnership was not to duplicate existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, but to complement them – and to act where there is a clear unmet need.
- COVID-19 vaccination program - During 2021, it was clear remote that communities were not fully prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Mater partnered with the State Government to send our vaccination teams to those communities. From Cherbourg to Cape York, Mater nurses vaccinated more than 3,400 people in remote communities. An initiative that undoubtedly saved lives.
- Mater Research's Queensland Family Cohort Study - has also begun a major survey of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the ground-breaking Queensland Family Cohort Study.
- In 2021, Mater also signed the South-East Queensland First Nations Health Equity Strategy – a commitment to make our services more accessible, more connected and more responsive for First Nations people.