20 Jun Reconciliation in action: Uniting’s story of hope and growth
Uniting has officially launched our new ‘Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan’, endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
This is a moment to acknowledge our renewed commitment to reconciliation as a journey of hope and growth; a moment to say – publicly – that we will not stand on the side of the oppressor, but will walk together into a future when reconciliation is realised.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Developed with and by Aboriginal people who are part of the Uniting family, the Innovate plan outlines our commitment to key actions and deliverables that will happen over the next two years.
The plan is about creating a culturally safe and inclusive workplace and service delivery spaces for Aboriginal people. It is also about continuing to listen to the voice of Aboriginal people to make sure the priorities we set deliver on agreed actions and our promise.
Action today to shape the future
Reconciliation isn’t something that should just be talked about during Reconciliation Week. Reconciliation is about making the ongoing, deliberate choice to listen and walk with Aboriginal people. It’s about forming and maintaining trusted, respectful relationships with Aboriginal people.
Nathan Tyson, Community Engagement and Partnerships Specialist for the Uniting Aboriginal Services Development Unit, said that reconciliation calls us to address the strong social undercurrent of resistance to acknowledging the many difficult truths of Australia’s colonisation. In this way it can be a vehicle to confront injustice – part of our Uniting purpose.
“Of course, we can’t change the past,” he said. “But we can act today to shape the future.
“We still need to ‘Close the Gap’. The over-representation of Aboriginal people, particularly women and young people, in the correctional system is one of many issues that needs to be addressed. The rate of suicide of Aboriginal young people – currently the highest in the world – is another critical issue requiring urgent action.
What can each of us do?
We invite you to join us in taking steps towards reconciliation. Here are some small, yet significant actions you can take to bring reconciliation into your world.
- When considering Aboriginal perspectives, use a lens of empathy and compassion, and frame your learning in terms of “how would I feel if that happened to me?”
- Listen to the views and experiences of Aboriginal people you know.
- Learn more about Australian colonial history and about Aboriginal peoples, cultures and communities.
- Consider how your words and actions can assist and empower Aboriginal peoples and communities when the opportunity arises.
- Research the wealth of Aboriginal-authored information available via the internet, particularly at Reconciliation Australia.
- Download our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan and familiarise yourself with the steps Uniting is taking towards reconciliation.
Get in touch
For more information about how Uniting works towards reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples, call 1800 864 846 or email us.
For the latest job opportunities or to find about more about working for Uniting, go here.
Uniting acknowledges the sovereignty of Australia’s First Peoples