WNSW PHN Reaffirms its Commitment to Indigenous Health through Reconciliation


WNSW PHN has launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) as a pledge to continue to build and nurture relationships, demonstrate respect for and increase awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations, and communities in true partnership.

Under the guidance of Reconciliation Australia, WNSW PHN has committed to a “Reflect” Reconciliation Action Plan, which the organisation launched at events at Dubbo, Orange, and Bathurst on December 8, 9 and 10.

WNSW PHN Board Chair Dr Robin Williams says is an important milestone for the organisation.

“We know that reconciliation is a long journey and there will be many learnings along the way, however, we are ready for this challenge, and our first RAP demonstrates our united commitment to reconciliation and closing the gap,” said Dr Williams.

WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Coe, is proud of the commitment being made to Indigenous Australians in the WNSW PHN region.

“Embedding Aboriginal health is one of our guiding principles, and so reconciliation is critical to assisting us to ensure we’re making meaningful gains in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people across our region,” said Mr Coe

He added, “We believe this RAP is representative of where WNSW PHN is on our reconciliation journey, allowing for us to aspire for deeper understandings to build better relationships and partnerships which will advance reconciliation and better health outcomes in our region.”

General Manager of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing and proud Wiradjuri woman, Nikki Trudgett, says it has been extremely gratifying to see WNSW PHN’s first RAP come to fruition.

“Given our region covers so many different traditional nations, has the 3rd highest proportion of population that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in the nation, as well as their unique health challenges, including a 9-year lower average life expectancy than non-Aboriginal people in NSW, our RAP is going to be a critical advancement in the way that WNSW PHN supports our Indigenous brothers and sisters and helps us close the gap in our region.”

She added, “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the many partner organisations, stakeholders and members of the community that contributed to the development of our first RAP and we hope you will continue to support us on this journey.”

“I’m extremely proud that this RAP will continue to guide, support and hold us accountable as we, as an organisation, embody our values and make reconciliation a reality, while also continuing to nurture and grow opportunities for more indigenous people in our region through our significant sphere of influence,” said Ms Trudgett.

As well as identifying existing work being undertaken by WNSW PHN aligned to its strategic vision of improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in and connected to our region, the WNSW PHN RAP identifies a number of actions and deliverables that are to be embedded in its operational plans.

These include:

  • Establishing and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders and organisations.
  • Promoting reconciliation through WNSW PHN’s sphere of influence.
  • Promoting positive race relations through anti-discrimination strategies.
  • Increasing understanding, value and recognition of Indigenous cultures, histories, knowledge, and rights through cultural learning.
  • Demonstrating respect and creating culturally safe and respectful environments.
  • Improving employment outcomes and increasing supplier diversity.
  • Increasing grant opportunities.

WNSW PHN has also committed to continue its reconciliation journey by commencing the development of its next RAP in 2022.

In conjunction with the RAP, local artist and proud Tubba-gah Wiradjuri man Nathan Peckham was commissioned by WNSW PHN to develop an artwork symbolic of the RAP.

Titled Maradhal-Yandhul-Giriya, Wiradjuri for Past-Present-Future, Mr Peckham says people are at the core of his artistic vision.

“This piece represents the journey the WNSW PHN is undertaking with its RAP. The aim of the journey is to reach a place where the WNSW PHN and its partners have successfully contributed to a unified understanding and commitment to reconciliation across the nation.”

He added, “It speaks to the continuing evolution of the organisation in this space through recognising the past, understanding the present, and celebrating the future.”

WNSW PHN’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan can be found online at

(pictured from Left to Right: Luke Barnes of Dinawan's Connection, WNSW PHN General Manager Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, Nikki Trudgett, WNSW PHN CEO Andrew Coe, WNSW PHN General Manager Corporate Services and Governance, Robert Strickland)