The Australian Psychological Society's Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Timothy A. Carey, Pat Dudgeon, Sabine W. Hammond, Tanja Hirvonen, Michael Kyrios, Louise Roufeil, Peter Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health, education, mental health, and social and emotional wellbeing remains a major concern. Bridging these gaps and working in culturally safe and responsive ways with people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent presents considerable challenges, including for the discipline and profession of psychology. At the Australian Psychological Society's (APS) inaugural congress in September 2016, the APS issued an Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The apology was a formal acknowledgment of the role of the discipline and profession of psychology in failing to listen and show respect to Indigenous Australians. The apology was also a commitment to change. This paper provides the background and context to, and motivation for, the apology. The APS received highly positive reactions to the apology across Australia and internationally. However, further change and work needs to be undertaken as the challenge for the discipline and profession now is to demonstrate a commitment to the apology by supporting and engaging in culturally safe practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

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