Reconciliation is at the heart of our programs, services and initiatives to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with opportunities to participate and thrive in life.
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.
Stretch RAP (2017-2020)
We honour this commitment through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) — UnitingCare’s business plan for prioritising and contributing to reconciliation in Australia.
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.
UnitingCare’s Stretch RAP (2017–2020) keeps us moving forward on our Reconciliation journey, with specific targets around cultural appreciation, procurement, recruitment and retention, leadership and community participation.
Our Stretch RAP challenges us to:
- Increase our percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees so that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients receive culturally appropriate care
- Give a voice to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and clients through strong leadership at all levels of our organisation
- Invite our employees to take part in cultural appreciation training and/or workshops
- Create a culture that recognises and respects the value and knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to UnitingCare’s work.
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).
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 the UnitingCare Reconciliation Action Plan journey. This artwork is featured above.