The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has launched a new Reconciliation Action Plan, committing to working with Indigenous Australians to end disadvantage and provide culturally appropriate services. Source: The Armidale Express.
“The Reconciliation Action Plan has come about through collaboration as a way to acknowledge the importance of the relationship that St Vincent de Paul has with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” case worker Oliver Olds said. “It has a lot to do with acceptance and acknowledgement; a huge part of it is also respect.”
Under the plan, the charity commits to creating a just and equitable society, and closing social and economic gaps between Indigenous people and the wider Australian population, particularly in life expectancy, child mortality, educational achievement, disability support, and employment.
It will build better partnerships with communities throughout NSW, employ more Indigenous staff, provide employment and procurement opportunities for Indigenous people and businesses, and ensure its services are culturally appropriate.
The charity is rolling out regional launches of the plan. It was launched in Friday in Armidale, following launches in Tamworth and Lewisham.
“We’re the third in the state,” said Adrian Webber, director of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation service at Freeman House, Armidale. “It's really nice that two of them have been in Tamworth and Armidale out of the entire state, so we're leading the state in delivering these.”
Mr Webber emphasised that the Reconciliation Plan was a work in progress that would change to meet community needs.
“This is a living, working document that will really improve the way we practice,” he said. “Really, it's just the beginning for us, and every single one of us has a duty and a responsibility to carry forward everything in the RAP.”'