Artwork by Anyupa Butcher © 2012
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of lands and waters throughout Australia, and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise the importance of continued connection to culture, country and community to the health and the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The APS is committed to Reconciliation and building respect, relationships and understanding between Australia's First People and other Australians to close the gap in social and emotional wellbeing outcomes.
The APS recognises the core principles of Indigenous governance and self-determination. We are committed to ensuring active involvement and input by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in matters regarding the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of our First People. An essential part of this commitment is our partnership with the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA).
We have a longstanding commitment to working in culturally responsive and safe ways with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 1973, a Working Party on Aboriginal Issues was established and APS members became involved in research via the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
Since the 1990s progress has slowly been made in translating the APS' commitment into actual steps toward changing psychology in Australia and engaging in reconciliation. In the last three decades we have been active in developing an understanding of, and commitment to, working respectfully and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
The APS reconciliation journey
||Establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Interest Group of the APS
||The first Welcome to Country and keynote address by an Aboriginal activist, Rob Riley, at the 1995 APS Conference
||The APS was a signatory to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) Statement of Apology to the Stolen Generation (ACOSS, 1997)
||The special edition of the Australian Psychologist on Indigenous psychology
||Reconciliation Australia the lead body on reconciliation was launched
||Bendi Lango bursary established to support Indigenous postgraduate psychology students
||The National Apology was delivered by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on behalf of the Australian people on 13th February
||The first ever meeting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists and establishment of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA)
Aboriginal psychologists and AIPA have been instrumental in encouraging the APS in becoming involved in more formal ways of working toward reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, leading to the APS developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
||The APS first RAP Report (2011-2014) was released
|2013 - 2016
||The Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) grew out of the APS RAP actions related to psychology education
||APS staff members and the APS Board participated in cultural awareness and responsiveness workshops
||Tim Carey read the APS apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at APS Congress in Melbourne
Partnership with AIPA
The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA)
AIPA is the national body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists in Australia. AIPA is committed to improving the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by leading the change required to deliver equitable, accessible, sustainable, timely and culturally safe psychological care. Furthermore, AIPA is dedicated to supporting and representing the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists and students, working toward achieving equity within the profession.
Since being establishment in 2008, AIPA’s considerable achievements include:
- providing national leadership on the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
- leading national workshops to provide the non-Indigenous mental health workforce with the capabilities to work in a culturally responsive and safe manner
AIPA and the APS Working Together
AIPA has been instrumental in encouraging the APS to work toward reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in more formal ways. This partnership has helped drive:
- the development of APS’s Reconciliation Action Plan
- involvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (ATSIMHSPAG)
- the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP)
- the establishment of the Indigenous Psychology Advisor Group to the APS Board (2015)
- the APS’ Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (2016)
How to get involved
This is information for members on how they can get involved in the reconciliation action plan