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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1485 ..


We know that too often in the past people have been promoted on the basis of their expertise and clinical skill and not necessarily on the basis of their capacity as managers, and not necessarily given training and support when they move into those management roles. And that is not unique to the ACT. Through collaboration across the system, we have identified gaps in training and are making investments that will enrich our staff’s experience.

I provided an update to the Assembly regarding culture review on 31 March 2021. That included the outcomes from the inaugural annual review. The review noted:

Significant culture reform requires sustained effort over several years for the full impact of the investment in the system to be felt. However, improvements are being seen and more is on the way.

We are currently planning for the second annual review of the culture reform program to commence to ensure that we are continuing to be transparent and remain on track to deliver actions that will sustain the improvements in culture in our health system.

In closing, I would like to refer to Ms Kirsty Cummin, who was recently awarded Nurse of the Year at the 2021 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. Kirsty talked about how they have so proudly delivered timely service in a safe way at Weston Creek Walk-in Centre—where they have not only delivered to the community but they have also demonstrated a commitment to each other to ensure that colleagues are safe, valued and cared for. That is what we are aspiring to achieve across the entire ACT public health system.

We are not just focusing on delivering 20 recommendations; we are focused on our people and getting this right for them. We are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment in which our people work day in, day out, and we want to empower them to do the best they can in caring for our community.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (3.48): I thank Mrs Jones for raising the item of culture reform underway across the ACT public health system. As Minister Stephen-Smith has noted, the ACT government is committed to workplace culture reform across the ACT public health system to ensure patients, families, consumers and the broad ACT community and surrounding areas receive high-quality health care. As Minister for Mental Health, I assure Mrs Jones and the Assembly that we are working hard to ensure that our staff are cared for and feel valued. The mental health and wellbeing of our workforce is critical.

Significant culture reform requires sustained effort over an extended period. This effort will need to be ongoing for the full impact of our investment in the system to be felt. We know that a strong organisational culture occurs through an ongoing, considered approach that is responsive to environmental impacts and the changing needs of our workforce. The issues are complex and multifaceted, and for this reason the ACT government has taken a deliberate and strategic approach that will result in sustained and enduring change across the system.


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