NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. We are committed to building relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, customers, families and communities.
This week 6-13 July is NAIDOC week 2014. NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
As a human rights based organisation, House with No Steps is committed to building relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, service users, families and communities.
That is why, with the support of Reconciliation Australia, we have started our journey towards developing a Reconciliation Action Plan for the organisation. A significant 4% of our staff identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in the last Voice Survey and 20% of our Townsville service users identify.
In late May, a group of House with No Steps staff and board members met in Townsville to celebrate National Reconciliation Week and plan the beginning of our Reconciliation Action Plan.
They were a truly inspiring two days as we connected with the Townsville Aboriginal community through conversation, food and song. We held a human rights forum to talk about issues that are important to the people we support in Townsville and were lucky enough to listen to Aboriginal elder Dr Gracelyn Smallwood share her story about the marginalisation of the Aboriginal people and the importance of reconciliation. We even participated in the National Reconciliation Week Sing Loud! activity.
Through a Reconciliation Action Plan we hope to do what we can as an organisation to close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader community. Our Reconciliation Action Plan will be a journey – a slow conversation allowing time to reflect and listen.
We will be involving HWNS employees, service users and family members in the process of developing our Reconciliation Action Plan, especially, but not only those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Stay tuned for more updates on our progress.