Carers Queensland launched its latest Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-2023 at an event in Toowoomba on 28 May 2021 during National Reconciliation Week.
Many thanks for the support of Carbal Services and their Yarnin’ Circle to host our launch. “The organisation has had Innovative and Stretch Reconciliation Action Plans previously, but this one has been developed with much wider consultation with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people, across the State,” said Debra Cottrell, Chief Executive Officer of Carers Queensland. “In addition to our Statewide RAP Working Group, we have also added eight Regional Advisory Groups to our governance structure. We want to make sure that local Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islander communities are able to work with us to not only implement the activities in our Plan, but to advise us on local issues that need local solutions to further our reconciliation objectives,” said Ms Cottrell.
Our organisation experienced rapid growth over a four year period and needed to ensure that reconciliation was imbedded across our much larger organisation. We therefore held eight workshops across Queensland with key Aboriginal community members and Torres Strait Islander community members, representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander staff and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. The richness of information and recommendations from these workshops formed the basis of our Reconciliation Action Plan. During the consultation period, Uncle Paul Calcott was commissioned to paint the story of Carers Queensland. Parts of this painting have been incorporated as the artwork in our Reconciliation Action Plan. Uncle Paul is a proud Wiradjuri Elder and artist from central New South Wales, now living on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The artwork titled ‘Walking with our community. Connecting with our communities.’ depicts Carers Queensland’s story using a traditional style of art. It translates the work we do in the community with carers, people with disabilities and their families, through storytelling, and is a wonderful addition to our reconciliation journey and our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan. Carers Queensland acknowledges the support provided by Reconciliation Australia in the development, refinement, and approval of our 2021-2023 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.