As we progress through the implementation of the APS Reconciliation Action Plan we will post news of our activities and achievements.

Have your say! Provide feedback on the new Reconciliation Action Plan Draft 

We are eager to obtain member feedback about the plan, and especially would like to learn your views on how the plan can be implemented by all member groups and individual members.  

We would also like to obtain feedback from members as to what your needs are to help you work in a culturally responsive and safe manner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Feedback can either be emailed to, or you are welcome to ring Sophia or Sabine with specific feedback.  We can be reached as follows:

  • Sophia  (Monday and Wednesday) 03 8662 3317
  • Sabine  03 8662 3349

Deadline for feedback is close of business Monday 20 November 2017.  



Final RAP Report presented to members at APS Conference in Hobart

Download The APS RAP Final Report 2011-2014  (4MB, PDF )

The final report from the three-year APS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was presented at the 49th APS Annual Conference in Hobart on Tuesday 30 September 2014
The RAP is the result of a collaborative and consultative process led by a Working Group of diverse stakeholders. The report sets out the key target actions and outcomes of the RAP in the four priority areas:

  • Respectful Relationships
  • Governance
  • Cultural Competence
  • Indigenous Education and Employment

The report also highlights a number of short and longer term priorities identified by the Working Group as essential to sustaining the Society’s commitment to Indigenous issues and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing are foregrounded in the work of all psychologists.

Recognising Country, Traditional Owners and Elders

At its February 2013 meeting the APS Board carried a recommendation that an Acknowledgment of Country should be delivered at face-to-face meetings of:

  • APS Cultural Protocols for Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Country, Traditional Owners and EldersBoard Committees
  • Advisory Groups and Forums of the Divisions
  • State Committees
  • Colleges
  • Branches
  • Interest Groups

The RAP Team has also been encouraging conference Chairs to organise a Welcome to Country by a recognised representative of the Traditional Owners for all APS member group conferences.

APS Cultural Protocols for Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Country, Traditional Owners and Elders [member access only] has been developed to support members and APS staff in the implementation of these actions and includes background information on the meaning and significance of recognition, as well as practical tips for identifying whether an acknowledgement or welcome is appropriate, identifying the relevant Traditional Owners, suggested wording for acknowledgement of Country and responding to a Welcome to Country, and a flow chart to assist in arranging a Welcome to Country.

Doing Reconciliation Locally

Doing Reconciliation Locally: RAP Implementation Tips for Member Groups [member access only] has been developed to assist member groups in the local implementation of the RAP. The document highlights some key areas including:

  • Development relationships and partnerships
  • Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guest speakers
  • Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media and business
  • Evaluating resources

This document will be reviewed and developed as we progress through the implementation, evaluation and review phases of the RAP so your feedback would be very much welcome.

Grant set to increase number of Indigenous psychology students

The Federal Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) has awarded a $350,000 grant to a project that will increase the number of Indigenous psychology students and enhance psychologists’ ability to work effectively with Indigenous communities. Led by Professor Pat Dudgeon of the University of Western Australia, the collaborative project team will investigate curricular approaches to increasing cultural competence and Indigenous participation in psychology education and training.  The project is referred to as the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP). AIPEP draws on the perspectives of university educators and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support staff, psychology students, employers and Indigenous psychologists. The APS is one of two industry partners to the project, which directly addresses two of the four priority areas of the APS RAP: Cultural Competence and Indigenous Education and Employment. Learn more about AIPEP at

Key dates of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Throughout the year a number of dates are of particular significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  These dates are an opportunity to pay respect, to focus on the impact of past events and to plan for positive action towards reconciliation.  A calendar of 2013 significant dates has been developed and includes an overview of the meaning and purpose of each date, as well as links to further information and resources.

Indigenous postgraduate psychology student awarded Bendi Lango bursary

Rebecca Smyth, an Aboriginal postgraduate psychology student undertaking a Masters of Educational and Developmental Psychology at Queensland University of Technology, is the 2013 recipient of the APS Bendi Lango bursary.

Rebecca is a descendent of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales and, since graduating with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) from the University of Queensland in 2009, has worked for community organisations that focus on social justice and social welfare.

New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group established

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) today welcomed the Government announcement of the establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (ATSIMHSPAG).

ATSIMHSPAG will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, stakeholders and experts in social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention to partner with the Australian Government in the design and/or implementation of key strategic responses - including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, the renewed social and emotional wellbeing framework (in development), and the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing components of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

The group will be Co-Chaired by Dr Tom Calma AO and Professor Pat Dudgeon FAPS, Co-Chair of the APS RAP Working Group.


Call a Cuz project team

Call-a-Cuz project team members: Harry Lovelock and Leda Barnett

The Call-a-Cuz Scoping Project responded to research conducted by AIPA member Leda Barnett and colleagues and was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). The AIPA/APS Project Team undertook research and consultancy with both Indigenous communities and teleweb service delivery experts to further explore and detail the need for a dedicated and specific Indigenous helpline and counselling service – Call-a-Cuz. The project will also explore options and requirements to outline and cost a proposed delivery model and operational framework.

  • Read more in the Aril 2013 edition of InPsych.