Engaging the Australian Community

We strive for an Australia that is united in acknowledgment of our history and in our understanding and respect for the diversity, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  We see a future with equal opportunity and access for all Australians and one which is championed by the uniqueness and diversity of all our communities and people.

Our work in Reconciliation

In the context of our organisation, this represents equality in health outcomes and the elimination of challenges faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We recognise that the Indigenous health gap is inextricably linked to social and economic exclusion, unemployment, low income, poor education as well as cultural and historic factors. Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) gives us an opportunity to genuinely reflect and respond to the Australian community, particularly given the unmet health challenges faced by our Indigenous people. At GSK, we believe that through partnership with the world’s oldest continuing culture and leveraging our expertise in the health landscape, we can bridge the Indigenous health gap and create a meaningful difference in Australia’s reconciliation journey.

Through unity we can achieve a workplace that is culturally rich and proud and create a nation that is inclusive and fair.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our commitment to social responsibility, globally and in the Australian community, is embedded into the way we do business, and we are proud to build our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) into our ways of working.

Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, the new Reflect RAP 2021-2022 focuses on increased communication, education, and integration within the business as we aspire to embed our commitment to Reconciliation into our core operations. 

Everything we do at GSK Australia supports our purpose, to help people do more, feel better, live longer. Our medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products are improving the quality of life for patients and consumers within Australia and around the world. 

But we must acknowledge that health disparities amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples persist.

Our vision for Reconciliation in Australia is a nation in which each individual is valued, respected, and celebrated. Critical to this success is the pursuit of equity in health so every Australian can achieve their full potential. GSK partners take a holistic view of health; our vision embodies the physical, social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual wellbeing of First Nations Peoples.  

With the launch of our Reflect RAP 2021-2022, we celebrate the strengthening of our commitments, but also acknowledge that we have a lot to learn on this journey.

The development of our third RAP provided us with an opportunity to pause and reflect on what has been achieved, where more work is needed, and where to refocus our efforts. It is the roadmap for our continued reconciliation journey. 

Our organisation, like our community, is evolving and for that reason, we decided to deliver a Reflect RAP.  

We seek to listen, learn and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to drive our meaningful contribution towards Reconciliation in Australia. The RAP reinforces our special purpose: Help people do more, feel better, live longer and we must fulfill it.  

Reports:

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Uluru Statement from the Heart

GSK is proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We accept the invitation from the Uluru Statement to all Australians to support constitutional and structural reform so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can take their rightful place in our nation. We support the proposal for a Voice to Parliament enabled by the constitution that gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say on matters that impact their communities.

The Uluru Statement was delivered to the Australian people in 2017, after extensive dialogue with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

The call for a Voice to Parliament through the Uluru Statement from the Heart remains just as important as it was in 2017. It is a fair and practical reform that will make a real difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I am proud to be leading an organisation on a reconciliation journey. Through our learnings, we have recognised how important this Statement is - and while it has been a few years since originally released, we nonetheless recognise that it is essential that we show our support now. I am proud to sign the Digital Canvas, representing both my personal support and the support of GSK Australia. I believe now is the time for our nation to make this change happen.

Patrick Desbiens, SVP & GM GSK Australia & New Zealand is also proud to support the From the Heart campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the Uluru Statement from the Heart around Australia.

You can read the Uluru Statement from the Heart here (PDF - 606KB) and you can find out more about From the Heart here.

See the press release here:

GSK Supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart, March 2021

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Worawa Aboriginal College Partnership

Worawa Aboriginal College was formally registered in 1983. The College was founded by Aboriginal Visionary Hyllus Maris based on her personal and community ‘lived experience’ of education. An Aboriginal initiative, the College was made possible with the support of non-Aboriginal people who supported the vision of the Founder. As a result, the College embraces the philosophy of ‘Walking Together’ Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people walking together to make a difference through combining Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom with Western education.

Our Focus

We aim to implement symbolic and practical measures through leadership and career exposure, build long lasting relationships, enhance cultural respect, appreciation and provide valuable opportunities to young Aboriginal Women in our local communities.

Our focus of this partnership is to ensure reciprocity. We aim to implement symbolic and practical measures through leadership and career exposure, build long lasting relationships, enhance cultural respect, appreciation and provide valuable opportunities to young Aboriginal Women in our local communities. GSK will implement long-term partnership with Worawa College to provide students with exposure to the key elements of a successful transition into work, further education pathways (should they choose it) and a deeper understanding of the social and professional expectations of contemporary work environments through exposure to the careers and pathways GSK offers.

As an all-girls college, we understand the importance of female leadership and mentorship. We aim to establish professional relationships between our senior female leaders and Worawa Girls, with the guidance of Worawa teaching staff and students.

GSK hopes to create an emphasis on increasing our knowledge and understanding of the issues facing the Aboriginal community. Seeking to recognise these issues is a core component in the development to address issues affecting the Aboriginal community.

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Save the Children

GSK Australia and Save the Children Australia have worked together to improve children's health across regions of Australia since 2007.

In 2013, this partnership grew when GSK announced an ambitious global partnership with Save the Children. Through our partnership we are committed to sharing our expertise and resources to make a lasting change for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Specifically, our work globally with Save the Children focuses on:

Developing child-friendly medicines to reduce child mortality and new-born deaths.
Widening vaccination coverage to reduce the number of child deaths in the hardest to reach communities.
Increasing our investment in the training, reach and scope of health workers in the poorest communities to help reduce child mortality.
Researching new affordable nutritional products to help alleviate malnutrition in children.
A critical part to making this partnership a reality is generous and enthusiastic fundraising from GSK staff across the world.

"At Save the Children, we believe that corporate Australia has an important role to play in advancing reconciliation. That’s why we’re delighted to see the commitments being made by GSK in their Reconciliation Action Plan which endeavours to make a tangible difference in the nation’s reconciliation journey. These commitments are reflected in GSK’s partnership with Save the Children that builds and strengthens relationships between health services and the community of Doomadgee. Importantly, and thanks to GSK’s investment in the community, this partnership will lead to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families accessing health and early intervention in illness"
- Mat Tinkler, CEO of Save the Children Australia

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Our key activities for 2020/2021 include:

Doomadgee Project

GSK have partnered with Save the Children to help make a difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2020 our partnership commenced a new chapter, supporting the families, children and young people in Doomadgee, Queensland.

The Doomadgee program is developed with the community, for the community and by the community. Through this partnership, GSK are taking steps to learn more about Australia’s Indigenous culture and support Indigenous health.

Doomadgee is a remote, Aboriginal community in the Gulf of Carpentaria in North Queensland, located on the Nicholson River. In 2016, the estimated population was 1,405 people with 93.7% Aboriginal and 38.5% aged between 0-14 years of age. The community experiences intergenerational vulnerability, increasing the risk factors for children and families who face social and economic conditions of systemic disadvantage. The 2015 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) reports children in Doomadgee are 86.4% vulnerable on one domain and 59.1% on two domains which highlights the importance of learning and development in the early years to improve outcomes for children.

The focus of the partnership is on delivering programs, developed with the community to

  1. Build and strengthen relationships between health services and community.
  2. Increase the number of children who have health checks.
  3. Give adult community members the opportunity to access literacy programs and build on their own skills to assist children.
  4. Build the confidence of young people who are leaving community to attend boarding schools or school-related activities

This partnership has the aim of building and strengthening relationships between health services and the community, with the hope of families accessing health care more often and receiving early intervention in illness.

Activities planned for 2020/2021 include: Children and Family Camps; International Women’s Expo and Men’s Health Week; New Child Health Expo; Community Literacy Program and Mentoring; and Hygiene Packs.

The community is proud and resilient and the Elders, local leaders, community members, service providers, State and Commonwealth Governments are working together to create the environment for children to grow up strong in their identity and connectedness to culture and community. Together with Save the Children, GSK are committed to children in Doomadgee having the best start in life with our local team on the ground to ensure all children have access to the services they need when they need them. 

Learn more about our Doomadgee project here 

Larapinta Challenge

In May 2022, five employees were sponsored by GSK Australia to complete the Larapinta Trail which stretches over 90 kilometres of the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory. This exciting challenge was organised by our partners at Save the Children and all funds raised were matched by GSK Australia.

These funds are streamed to remote aboriginal communities to support their essential needs. Through this initiative, the team raised over $21,700 which was matched by GSK to support Save the Children’s amazing work.

Activities planned for 2022/2023 include:

Children and Family Camps; International Women’s and Men’s Health Week; Child Health Expo; Library For All Writers Workshops, Babies Welcome to Country and Hygiene Packs.

The community is proud and resilient and the Elders, local leaders, community members, service providers, State and Commonwealth Governments are working together to create the environment for children to grow up strong in their identity and connectedness to culture and community. Together with Save the Children, GSK are committed to children in Doomadgee having the best start in life with our local team on the ground to ensure all children have access to the services they need when they need them.

Throughout our partnership we have seen the confidence and trust of the Doomadgee community in health services grow immensely. The men in the community who traditionally reluctant to engage are now actively participating and voicing their needs and suggestions for support going forward. Community members are relying less and less on Save the Children staff and are increasingly confident to play a facilitating role in the Family Camps and Health Expos. 

 

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