UnitingCare Queensland’s 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”.
This vision guides our decision making and our actions on a daily basis.
We honour this vision through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A RAP is a business plan that documents what an organisation commits to do to contribute to reconciliation in Australia.
On 27 October 2017 we launched our third Reconciliation Action Plan – a Stretch RAP.
Our UnitingCare Queensland 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 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 Queensland’s work.
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 staff 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.
The UnitingCare Queensland 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).
We continued to build meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, strengthened our cultural capability and were able to recognise the achievements of our employees through the UnitingCare Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
Our commitment to reconciliation didn’t start with our Reconciliation Action Plan.
In 1985 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Uniting Church in Australia formed the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). The UAICC is Aboriginal and Islander body which is recognised by the Assembly as having responsibility for oversight of the ministry of the Church with the Aboriginal and Islander people of Australia.
In 1994 the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia entered into a covenanting relationship with the UAICC. The Uniting Church in Australia’s Covenant (1994) is about empowerment, truth and justice and moral leadership, taking a path to reconciliation in partnership, walking together to right the wrongs of the past, and looking forward to our future, together.
In 2009 the Uniting Church in Australia recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of its constitution and UnitingCare Queensland, as part of the Church, is committed to these responsibilities.