Social Responsibility

J&J Medtech, Pfizer and Baxter Healthcare take action to ‘make change’ this National Reconciliation Week

Health Industry Hub | May 27, 2022 |
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On election night, Anthony Albanese opened his acceptance speech with a full commitment to the Uluru Statement From the Heart. It came a week ahead of National Reconciliation Week on Friday May 27, following National Sorry Day on May 26. This year’s theme of Be Brave. Make Change. challenges all Australians to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

“Our research shows that the majority of Australians support reconciliation and value the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine said.

“National Reconciliation Week 2022 follows a weekend marked by a change of government and a new Parliament presenting an opportunity for brave action with a commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Pfizer, J&J Medtech, Baxter Healthcare, Sanofi and BMS join other leading corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations in Australia with formal commitments to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

General Manager for Baxter Australia & New Zealand, Steven Flynn, said Baxter Healthcare remains committed to delivering tangible programs to help improve equality and justice in the communities our employees live and work in.

“As one of the largest diversified healthcare companies in Australia, we see firsthand the impact that deliberate steps towards diversity, equity and inclusion can make towards improving the health and lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Mr Flynn said.

“This Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan is part of our pledge to Activating Change Today within our local communities and areas of influence. For more than 90 years globally and almost half a century in Australia, Baxter Healthcare has held true to Our Mission to Save and Sustain Lives. On behalf of all our employees, we recognise the opportunity to further that Mission and remove racial inequality to deliver economic and health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Kris Ashpole, Global Community Impact Lead, Johnson & Johnson – Family of Companies, ANZ, told Health Industry Hub “National Reconciliation Week’s theme for 2022, ‘Be Brave. Make Change,’ is a reminder for us to pause and reflect on our continued commitment to reconciliation and how we are putting those commitments into action. Reconciliation has been part of our journey of learning and growth and embodies the spirit of community laid out in our Credo. J&J is proud of our ongoing work to advance cultural awareness in health care, Aboriginal health training, and closing the health equity gap.

“We were delighted to announce the three winners of our Aboriginal and Māori medical scholarship program at this month’s RACS Indigenous Health Breakfast, bringing the total number of scholarships to 15 for trainee surgeons working to advance their medical training, and our work continues with Apunipima to support training for indigenous health workers in maternal and infant health. We look forward to our continued efforts with Reconciliation Australia as we strive to achieve our shared vision of an Australia that values, recognises and is connected to its First Nations cultures, heritages and histories.”

Anne Harris, Managing Director of Pfizer Australia & New Zealand, said to Health Industry Hub “Reconciliation requires us to move at the pace of trust. It is our goal to ensure that we are authentic, active and effective allies of First Nations people and communities.

“Pfizer launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan in March 2022. This is a start towards our deep collective and individual understandings of reconciliation. It is a step to gain the truth of colonisation, evaluate the impacts, and consider what we can do as partners to close the significant gaps in health for First Nations people”.

Ms Mundine added “Its five years since the Uluru Statement was presented to the Australian people and the time for change starts now. We are also buoyed by the rise in the number of First Nations people in the new parliament, representing a range of views, and wish them strength in their work. But we can’t leave everything to our leaders and this is where Be Brave. Make Change comes in. The real work of reconciliation happens in our everyday actions and interactions; where live, work, learn and socialise.”

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