While we work to affirm the rights and dignity of all people, UnitingCare as an organisation and its employees, ensures proactive leadership and action to help repair the harm caused to many generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People through past injustices, government policies and social attitudes.

Our vision for reconciliation is to be culturally responsible and committed to social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We will be unified, positive and healthy. Our reconciliation journey is guided by the core values of:

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be heard and influential within the workplace.
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Healthy relationships are central to building co-operative partnerships based on trust and respect.
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are Australia’s First Nation Peoples. To have this reality acknowledged and accepted is at the heart of respect.
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It is essential for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to decide how best to move into the future.

Reconciliation and the Church

Responsibility for Ministry of the Uniting Church with the Aboriginal and Islander people of Australia was confirmed in 1985, when members of the Uniting Church in Australia formed the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

In 1994, the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia entered into the Uniting Church in Australia’s Covenant with the UAICC and later, in 2009, the Uniting Church in Australia recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of its Constitution.

We believe that maintaining the integrity of the positive history we have with the Church and our brothers and sisters of the UAICC will be a key driver in moving reconciliation into the future and creating stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and non-Indigenous Australia.

Reconciliation Action Plans

We honour these commitments through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) — UnitingCare’s business plan for prioritising and contributing to reconciliation in Australia.

Stretch RAP (2021-2024)

This Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been developed through an extensive consultation process engaging with more than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous employees across the state. This has shaped many ambitious targets, through which we will continue to challenge ourselves and uphold our responsibilities to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities we serve.

This document is intended to be read in the spirit of a truthful recognition of our history, to inform a vision of a shared, equitable and respectful future, and the acceptance that the responsibility for creating that future rests within every individual in the present.

  • Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan, June 2021 - June 2024
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Previous UnitingCare Reconciliation Action Plans

Our Reconciliation Action Plans, built on the Australian Framework of Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate, set up our path to Reconciliation in partnership, walking together to right the wrongs of the past, and looking forward to our future, together.

Reflect RAP (2012-13)

Our first RAP helped to make our services more culturally sensitive and accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and has contributed to building enduring partnerships both with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and at a local community level with Elders and community members.

Throughout the course of our first RAP, we completed all the actions that we had planned and, more importantly, we took steps towards changing the way we operate by improving our cultural capacity as a health and community services provider and employer. Our first-year progress is outlined in the Reconciliation Action Plan review 2012–13.

  • Reconciliation Action Plan 2012–2013
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  • Reconciliation Action Plan Review 2012–2013
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Innovate RAP (2014-17)

The UnitingCare Innovate RAP built on the work that we had already undertaken towards Reconciliation across our service groups — Blue Care, UnitingCare Community, and UnitingCare Health (The Wesley Hospital and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane, Buderim Private Hospital on the Sunshine Coast, and St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay).

  • Reconciliation Action Plan 2014–2017
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Stretch RAP (2017-2020)

UnitingCare’s Stretch RAP (2017–2020) kept us moving forward on our Reconciliation journey, with specific targets around cultural appreciation, procurement, recruitment and retention, leadership and community participation.

It challenged us to increase our percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to inform culturally appropriate care; give a voice to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and clients through strong leadership; invite our employees to take part in cultural appreciation training, and create a culture that respects the value and knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to UnitingCare’s work.

  • Reconciliation Action Plan 2017–2020
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Cultural calendar

We participate in culturally significant dates as one UnitingCare. View our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural calendar.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Calendar 2022
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Life in all its fullness artwork

In 2020, South Sea Islander and Butchulla artist and designer Tarni O’Shea was commissioned to create an artwork to celebrate the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

UnitingCare’s reconciliation story is embedded on a foundation layer acknowledging more than 65,000 years of culture that have guided us here today. The central element represents rejuvenation of the land through fire, constructive conversations, and creating an environment of learning and healing. It evolves to reinvigorate the environment, just as UnitingCare adapts to support and guide people through personalised care. This only happens when equality, respect, compassion and self-determination are present. Nurturing the growth of this environment are UnitingCare business functions. These represent the vital role UnitingCare and all parts of the organisation play in sustaining the vitality of the environment. Every element contributes to the health of the environment, helping to share knowledge and build relationships.

Freshwater and saltwater flows around this, connecting UnitingCare to people far and wide. Throughout, the centre is radiant and flourishing, representing the growth and opportunities that come with being connected and empowered. When all these elements work together, a nurtured spirit ignites and thrives. With ongoing care, the environment grows stronger, empowering UnitingCare to let its spirit soar.

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Aboriginal artwork we walk together
We Walk Together artwork

In 2012, Aboriginal artist Robert Barton, a Kalkadoon man from far North Western Queensland, was commissioned by UnitingCare to create an artwork that reflects the integrity and collaborative approach of our Reconciliation Action Plan journey. This artwork details the many different paths we have taken on that journey. The dotted features of blue, green and white lines contrasted against the deep red ochre background symbolise the complex weave of people, stories and histories coming together through the shared vision of reconciliation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
We provide a range of culturally appropriate services and supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.