Vinnies launches reconciliation commitment
ST Vincent de Paul Society has added its voice to the national effort to achieve reconciliation with Australia's Indigenous people.
The society has launched a Reconciliation Action Plan to guide all aspects of its work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Plans include Indigenous employment and professional development, procurement of products and services from Indigenous businesses and interaction with Indigenous clients seeking social assistance.
Spokesman Michael Timbrell said a special relationship is being sought with Indigenous people of the Mid and North Coast regions.
"We will be discussing the action plan with community leaders from the Biripi, Dunghutti, Gumbaynggir and Bundjalung Nations,” he said.
"We will seek advice on how best the commitments in the plan can be implemented and the Society's accountability for performance.
"The Society seeks to be a reconciliation leader in the non-governmental sector and use our reputation and influence to advocate for stronger recognition and respect for Australia's First Peoples.”
He said the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' ageless connection with the land is of paramount importance to developing strong working partnerships with Indigenous communities.
"Vinnies runs a diversity of social support programs throughout the North Coast.
"This includes breakfast and after-school programs with strong attendance by children from Aboriginal families.
"In addition a number of Aboriginal people work as volunteers in Vinnies retail shops.
"The plan is the result of a lengthy process that involved considerable input from Indigenous people within the Society and the broader community and we are deeply appreciative of their efforts.
"This is a true milestone for us.
"We are committed to making the action plan a roadmap for developing a more inclusive organisation that contributes to what we hope will become a more just nation.”
To view the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Reconciliation Action Plan at vinnies.org.au/rap