Department of Human Services

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Message from the Chief Executive, DHS

Reconciliation is everyone’s business and everybody’s responsibility. Here at the Department of Human Services (DHS) we take this commitment very seriously, which is why I am incredibly proud to introduce our 2022 DHS Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The traditional practices and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the oldest in the world and this is something we acknowledge and celebrate at DHS. We are proud of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and respect this by working alongside and learning from the wisdom and insight of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues, clients and communities.

Our RAP paves the way for us all to make reconciliation a real part of the work we do each day. As a department we are committed to fairness, opportunity and choice for all South Australians. This means we need to be on the front foot in walking the path towards true reconciliation — where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples work together to make a real difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

True reconciliation requires truth telling, including acknowledging the historical and ongoing impacts of colonisation. It also requires a commitment to listening deeply, building cultural intelligence, celebrating diversity and having the humility to recognise and value different ways of being and doing. Reconciliation will only come via compassionate cooperation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples, wherein non-Indigenous allies take up their responsibility as champions for racial justice. Reconciliation is a commitment to justice. For us at DHS, this also means delivering on our promises. This Innovate RAP commits us to important steps forward, including increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment in our workplace, delivering a tailored cultural training program for all staff, co-designing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement strategy, and implementing an effective anti-racism campaign.

I’m excited to be part of an organisation that works hard to ensure it provides a culturally safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to work and access services, whilst encouraging an environment where all staff can acknowledge and celebrate the incredibly diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.

Many thanks to our Reconciliation Committee for driving the development of this Innovate RAP, the staff that have contributed to the process through surveys and feedback and Reconciliation SA for their support and guidance.

Lois Boswell
Chief Executive
Department of Human Services

Page last updated : 12 Apr 2022

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