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.
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 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.
Innovate RAP (2014-17)
The UnitingCare Innovate RAP built on the work that we had already undertaken towards Reconciliation across our service groups — BlueCare, 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).
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.
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.