Home > Agency News > UnitingCare formalises reconciliation commitment

UnitingCare formalises reconciliation commitment

Maroochy Barambah performing the Welcome to Country. Photo by Sue Hutchinson
UNITINGCARE QUEENSLAND formalised its commitment to reconciliation with the launch of a Statement of Commitment to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on 1 February.

The RAP will build on the work that the organisation has already undertaken across its agencies and services in working towards closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

The commitment ceremony was officiated by UnitingCare Queensland CEO, Anne Cross, and Rev Shayne Blackman, National Administrator of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, and was attended by executives and staff from UnitingCare and its agencies and services, as well as invited guests.

Turrbal Songwoman, Maroochy Barambah, performed the traditional Welcome to Country and a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from across UnitingCare Queensland shared their experiences and insights in relation to reconciliation.

Ms Cross said UnitingCare Queensland has had a commitment to reconciliation and “Closing the Gap” for many years.

“Our RAP will formalise and build on the work that we have been doing through our employment programs, the establishment of NAIDOC groups and by ensuring that we have appropriate cultural protocols in the development of best practice policies for the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” she said.

“The RAP will give UnitingCare Queensland a framework for the future and will help us to deepen our relationships and to make our services more culturally relevant.”

Ms Cross said the RAP will form a key part of their strategic planning and reflected UnitingCare Queensland’s values of Compassion, Respect, Justice, Working together and Leading through learning.

“There is still a long way to go but, as with every journey, there is a sense of anticipation and pleasure at taking these next

In his address, Mr Blackman welcomed UnitingCare’s commitment to develop a RAP and issued a caution and a challenge to all who were present at the launch to make sure that what is included in the RAP is translated into action.

The first RAP program was developed in 2006 with the support of Reconciliation Australia.

Since then more than 200 RAPs have been launched with another 260 in development at the present.

Organisations involved to date include 11 of Australia’s largest corporations including all majorbanks, Wesfarmers, Telstra, News Limited, Woolworths and BHP Billiton.

Photo : Maroochy Barambah performing the Welcome to Country. Photo by Sue Hutchinson