NUMBERS of Aboriginal employees in the South Metropolitan Area Health Service (SMAHS) will go up through a new traineeship program launched last week.
The Aboriginal Employment Plan is increasing the number of Aboriginal employees by at least 100 across all areas of the business, across all sites.
A new co-ordinating position has been created to ensure trainees receive adequate support, in both cultural and training contexts.
The service employs 57 Aboriginal people and aims to exceed the new target, to reflect the Aboriginal working age demographic, by 2016.
South Metropolitan Area Health Service executive director public health Karen Banks said Aboriginal employees brought diverse knowledge, skills and understanding of their histories, traditions and culture to the health service.
These have an effect on the expectations Aboriginal people have of health services.
She said the plan, developed out of the service’s reconciliation action plan, was created in partnership with Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff members.
Ms Banks said the Plan was merely a tool.
“Bringing the plan to reality and increasing the representation of Aboriginal people within all areas of (the service) is the true output of the partnership which we are working towards,” she said.
“Employment in genuine positions is widely recognised as a valuable way to address social determinants of health for Aboriginal people, and we are delighted to be actively encouraging this approach.
“This will improve Aboriginal health issues and health service delivery for Aboriginal people.”
Aboriginal trainee positions are being created and will be advertised in coming months.
They will be across south metropolitan sites, which include Rockingham, Royal Perth, Fremantle, Kaleeya, Bentley and Armadale-Kelmscott Hospitals.
Aboriginal people interested in taking part in consultation activities can contact June Doyle on 9431 0200.