Tonight at the 2018 NAIDOC Ball, I was honoured to be representing Ambulance Victoria as a Board Director, to present the partnership between our organisation and the Victorian Aboriginal community in Emergency care.

I acknowledged the historical and structural racism underpinning access to services that continue to impact communities across this country, amplifying why an AV partnership must be centred in respecting their agency, dignity and integrity, by:

?hearing their voice as we plan our services.

? actively employing their community in our organisation

I noted that AV have not in the past, consistently and reliably provided the service to Aboriginal communities that we should have due to a lack of understanding and relationships with those communities. For this reason, it has been an organisational milestone and privilege for AV to have worked with the Lake Tyres Aboriginal Trust, Bung Yarnda community to develop Australia’s First Aboriginal Medical Emergency Response Team .

The Bung Yarnda Program is an important step in the right direction, building on our cultural capability.

AV Acknowledges we want future partnerships to look like, from an authentic standpoint.

We are committed to cementing meaningful partnerships on this journey, understanding what our role is as we support yours, towards improved well being and respect.

We are incredibly proud of this team for responding to emergencies and skilling up over 1000 people in Aboriginal communities across Victoria to perform CPR and use publicly accessible defibrillators to save lives.

I’d also acknowledged the powerful women, like Glenda Thorpe who have been instrumental in seeing the Bung Yarnda team at the forefront of social change. Because of the likes of them, AV can.