MERCYCARE unveiled their Aboriginal Pathway Strategy at a special event held in the Grenville Community Centre in Tuart Hill during National Reconciliation Week last month.
The strategy aimed at engaging the “head, heart, hands and spirit in a reconciliation journey” to recognise Aboriginal people and the contribution they make to Australian society.
MercyCare chief executive Chris Hall said one of the key initiatives was a traineeship program for five Aboriginal school students to learn valuable work and life skills by working at MercyCare sites as part of their Certificate II studies.
“We are keenly aware of the aspirations for self-determination that Aboriginal people have been expressing for decades,” Mr Hall said.
“As an organisation, we have worked with respected elders on real support for reconciliation – support that translates to tangible improvements and outcomes for the communities with which we are engaged.
“We are hopeful the successes of this program to date will result in us embarking on another phase with several other organisations.”
He added the organisation had been educated on the vision of community healing centres for people of the Stolen Generation and wanted to improve wellbeing through visits to meaningful indigenous sites, bush medicine and traditional customs to help with issues including displacement, mental health, family violence and abuse.
“We want to ensure we have the ongoing influence of Aboriginal people and their perspectives at all levels of our organisation,” he said.
“We all have a role to play in the different ways we each contribute to the critical journey of reconciliation in this country.”