Cerebral Palsy Alliance releases first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) is proud to announce the launch of our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The Reconciliation Action Plan, which has been approved by Reconciliation Australia and uses the organisation’s official framework, is a milestone in CPA’s 75-year history of supporting equality, inclusivity and diversity.

The RAP aims to elevate CPA’s cultural understanding and build effective relationships and connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.

CPA was established in 1945 by a group of parents with a wish to give children with cerebral palsy a brighter future. Today, CPA is a world leader in cerebral palsy research, advocacy, therapy services, assistive technology and disability innovation.

“As we continue to evolve as an organisation, our advocacy extends to people from all backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We’re committed to doing our part in this journey towards healing this country, and will build strong foundations as we move towards reconciliation”, said Rob White, CPA Chief Executive Officer.

The Reconciliation Action Plan enshrines a number of reconciliation initiatives that CPA is committed to, such as increasing staff knowledge and competency for respectfully communicating and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to feel a sense of belonging and thrive within CPA’s workforce.

The RAP has been a key priority of our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, Burbangana – a Dharug word of the Sydney language meaning “take my hand and help me up”.

Emma Stanton, a Senior Research Therapist at the CPA Research Institute and a proud Wiradjuri woman, said the RAP was an important step forward for the organisation.

“It’s a really exciting time for Cerebral Palsy Alliance as we demonstrate our commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As an organisation, CPA is dedicated to supporting its staff and how we engage with our clients, families and communities.” 

CPA has partnered with leading Indigenous consultancy BC Consulting to develop and implement the Reconciliation Action Plan. CPA has already begun to build respect and cultural awareness through sharing Acknowledgement of Country resources with all employees and displaying Acknowledgement of Country signs at CPA centres.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan builds on our research team’s ongoing work to determine rates and report cerebral palsy trends amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our early childhood service is also dedicated to supporting timely, equitable access to culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with cerebral palsy and developmental delays.

CPA joins more than 1,100 corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations that have committed to supporting a national reconciliation movement.

Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, congratulated CPA on the release of the RAP.

“Getting these first steps right will ensure the sustainability of future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives, and provide meaningful impact toward Australia’s reconciliation journey,” Mundine stated.

Head here to read more about the Reflect RAP and find out more about CPA’s commitment to Reconciliation.