Home > Queensland Synod News > Wesley Mission Queensland launches reconciliation vision
(L–R) Geoff Batkin (chief executive officer, WMQ), Rev Lyn Burden (Superintendent minister, WMQ), artist Luke Mallie, Steve Eltis (director of People and Culture, WMQ) and Hon Mark Furner (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Queensland government). Photo: Wesley Mission Queensland
(L–R) Geoff Batkin (chief executive officer, WMQ), Rev Lyn Burden (Superintendent minister, WMQ), artist Luke Mallie, Steve Eltis (director of People and Culture, WMQ) and Hon Mark Furner (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Queensland government). Photo: Wesley Mission Queensland

Wesley Mission Queensland launches reconciliation vision

Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) recently took the next step in the organisation’s reconciliation journey with the formal launch of their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Journey reports.

In early March the Wesley Mission Queensland RAP was officially launched at the Art from the Margins Fortitude Valley studio with guests from across the organisation, politicians and members of the local community in attendance.

The launch was the culmination of much development work over the past year to implement an organisation-wide RAP that documents WMQ’s commitment to building respectful relationships and creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through measurable actions and practical solutions.

Geoff Batkin, Wesley Mission Queensland CEO, says, “Wesley Mission Queensland is an integral part of the Uniting Church in Australia. Our purpose is to participate in the mission of God towards reconciliation, transformation, justice and hope for all people. By taking action, we as an organisation can make a significant contribution and lend our voice to positive change.

“This plan cements our commitment to grow our Indigenous workforce, increase cultural awareness in our workplaces and provide services and programs that are culturally sensitive and support the Indigenous community.

“We now have the opportunity to walk alongside other industry leaders on a national journey towards reconciliation.”

To develop the RAP, a working group of various WMQ staff members and community members met regularly to discuss a collective vision for reconciliation that the organisation as a whole could work towards.

The group met at different locations around Brisbane and spoke with Aboriginal elders from the tribes that call each location home. These elders shared their stories, explaining the significance of the land on which each meeting took place, and gave their own vision for reconciliation.

From these meetings an overarching vision was formed: “Wesley Mission Queensland’s vision for reconciliation is for all people to stand unified in an equal and inclusive future. We commit to enhancing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrating diversity.”

As part of the RAP process award-winning Indigenous Brisbane artist Luke Mallie was invited to create an artwork, Beauty in Diversity, to complement the reconciliation journey.

Inspired by the bright future he sees through the development of the RAP, Luke says “As soon as I read the brief, a vision of nature came up and the bright colours represent the future to me, even now the present and moving forward seems bright in comparison to the past.”

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