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Amgen pledges to unity and respect through first Reconciliation Action Plan

Health Industry Hub | August 10, 2023 |

In a momentous event that resonated with the global call for unity and respect, Amgen proudly unveiled its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) yesterday. Timed deliberately to coincide with International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the RAP launch was a powerful demonstration of Amgen’s commitment to championing the rights and heritage of Indigenous communities.

Amgen Australia orchestrated a heartfelt celebration at its Sydney office, bringing together employees and esteemed guests in an atmosphere brimming with significance. The company’s RAP Working Group orchestrated an inspiring program that included a traditional Smoking Ceremony performed by local Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Laurie Bimson, at Wynyard Park. The ceremonial journey continued as fellow Elder, Uncle Neil Evers, delivered a deeply moving Welcome to Country, infusing the event with a profound sense of cultural connection.

At the heart of this momentous occasion was an impactful keynote speech by Amgen’s RAP partner, Brooke Prentis, a respected Wakka Wakka woman.

“Reconciliation is all about a relationship based on listening, learning and taking action. These are characteristics I see in Amgen as an organisation, and I have personally experienced in working with Amgen. Reconciliation is not new to Amgen and so I am excited for the company to be taking the step to formalise their Reconciliation journey with this RAP,” she said.

Reflecting on the importance of this event, Amgen’s Managing Director, Gabi Mittas, underscored the profound impact of the RAP on the company’s trajectory.

“The formal endorsement of our RAP not only symbolises Amgen’s journey towards Reconciliation but our commitment to building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations. It also aligns with our ongoing focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging both within our walls, and the wider community, as we strive to reflect the diversity of the patients we serve.” Ms Mittas remarked.

In a report by Reconciliation Australia, the ongoing impact of RAPs across Australia has been revealed. Over 3.7 million people work or study in RAP-affiliated organisations, showcasing their widespread influence. Remarkably, 68% of RAP organisations revamped core operations and services, underlining RAPs’ role in fostering positive change.

Employment and procurement also saw significant growth. RAPs brought 73,565 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals into employment (up from 61,263 the previous year). Moreover, RAP organisations procured goods and services worth $3.1 billion from Indigenous-owned businesses, a noteworthy increase from the previous year’s $2.8 billion.

Adding her voice to the chorus of significance was Amgen’s Director of Legal and Company Secretary, Lisa Kurian, who also chairs the company’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee.

Ms Kurian articulated, “Amgen’s core mission is to serve patients and we strongly believe that diverse teams working together generate the best outcomes for patients. The Reflect RAP is the first step for Amgen in learning how our organisation can better serve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.”

A striking visual representation of this commitment is the inclusion of “Kapi Tjukula,” an artwork by Aboriginal artist and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Elder, Aunty Yaritji Heffernan. A finalist for the prestigious Wynne Prize on two occasions, Aunty Heffernan’s artwork serves as a poignant emblem of Amgen’s journey toward fostering a culture of unity and respect.

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