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Reconciliation

Action Plan 2014-2015


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more likely to be carers than people of the broader Australian community...


Foreward

It is with great pleasure that I provide this foreword to the Carers Queensland Reconciliation Action Plan 2014 - 2015.   This plan was developed after significant consultation and represents Carers Queensland’s plan to build upon creating a more just, understanding and united community for all Australians.   We at Carers Queensland believe reconciliation means recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional custodians of Australia and hold a special place in our nation.   It is only from this foundation of truth and openness that acceptance, forgiveness and ultimately a new single destiny can be forged - one which recognises and treasures the diverse contribution of Australians from all backgrounds. As an organisation dedicated to representing and advocating on behalf of those whose voice is often lost in the cacophony of noise in our modern society, we especially acknowledge the additional challenges faced by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters and recognise the need for all Australians to commit to a vision for the future of a reconciled Australia. Mr. Jim Toohey President Board of Governance Carers Queensland Inc.

CEO Message Carers provide unpaid care and support to family members or friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail aged. There are approximately 484,400 carers in Queensland. Anyone, anytime can become a carer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more likely to be carers than people of the broader Australian community, and there has been an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples identifying as carers from 32,581 in 2006 to 45,328 in 2011. However, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers that are supported by Carers Queensland is very small. We need to do it better if we are going to live up to the organisational mission of improving the quality of life of ALL carers throughout Queensland. Very early in the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) process, I was fortunate to be part of a cultural awareness day. It made me realise that neither the Board, nor me as the CEO, or the RAP Working Group were going to be able to affect a culture of reconciliation within Carers Queensland alone. It was a journey of learning and understanding and a shifting of perception that each and every person in the organisation would need to experience themselves and to embrace. The very best that the Board, the RAP Working Group and myself can do, is to facilitate, encourage, and foster as many opportunities as possible for this to be achieved. We recognise this is best achieved in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their respected organisations, and Carers Queensland will work to build respectful relationships with them. We want to become an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and we will actively review our recruitment processes and our policies and procedures to support this aim. We want to become a culturally responsive organisation that builds strong relationships, enhances respect and supports greater equality for all Australians. We want to actively contribute to reconciliation in Australia. I invite all who work for and support Carers Queensland to join with us to make these aspirations a reality. Ms Debra Cottrell Chief Executive Officer Carers Queensland Inc.

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Our Vision for Reconciliation

Our Mission: Carers Queensland’s mission it to improve the quality of life for all carers throughout Queensland.

In order for Carers Queensland to appropriately support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers we must first recognise the special place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold within Australia. Carers Queensland acknowledges their role as Australia’s First Peoples of the land we now share today. We believe in working towards building stronger partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in moving to a place of equity, and justice for all Australians. We want to continue to work hard in building relationships with other key stakeholders within the community, private and public sectors. Carers Queensland is committed to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and to effectively start the journey towards reconciliation within Australia. Carers Queensland promotes the recognition of caring as a shared responsibility of family, community, business and government. We are committed to working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and communities in an honest and meaningful dialogue. We wish to acknowledge the unique situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and respect the diversity of cultures.

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We will do this by: •

Recognising and acknowledging the history, cultural heritage and identity of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Fostering all relationships in a respectful, meaningful and genuine way

Creating circles of learning and communication encompassing the power of having a yarn

Working collaboratively with our partners, carers and clients to promote inclusion, capacity and resilience

Proactively supporting and promoting greater health and wellbeing for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Seeking to influence positive change and decision-making through consultation

Enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers to exercise their rights and self-advocate

Increasing organisational awareness through culturally appropriate training and professional development

Demonstrating a strong commitment to reconciliation throughout the organisation

In summary, if Carers Queensland is to achieve its mission it needs to ensure appropriate responsive service delivery, social cohesion and drive reconciliation within the organisation.


Our Business

Carers Queensland is the peak body for 484,400 carers inclusive of 60,000 young carers in Queensland and is dedicated to advancing the recognition of the caring role. In striving to achieve this, Carers Queensland responds to the needs of carers by providing information, community development, counselling, support services, support programs and advocacy. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of all carers throughout Queensland. As an advocate for carer’s rights, we seek to influence governments and other decision makers to improve services and support, and to develop programs and policies that assist family carers to perform their caring role. Carers Queensland is governed by a Board of Governance with between seven and nine elected members and up to three Directors who are co-opted to the Board from across the state. At least 50% of the Directors must be carers or former carers. Carers Queensland has a state wide network of 12 regional offices (Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Maroochydore, Stafford, Mount Gravatt, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Roma) as well as our Carer Advisory Service and head office at Camp Hill. This allows us to deliver local services in a consistent manner in all of the regional centres and beyond. We currently employ over 100 staff and had 50+ volunteers working with us over the last three years. We have an annual income of $8.9 million. The majority of our programs are funded by both State and Federal governments but this does not cover everything that we want to do to assist carers in the community. There is one staff member at present that has identified as being of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander origin.

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Services we currently offer include • Carers Advisory Service (1800 helpline & drop in centre)

• Family Support & Advocacy Program

• Young Carers Project

• Counselling Program

• Better Start Program

• Your Life Your Choice

• Education, Training & Employment Programs

• Carer support groups

• Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Program

• No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS)

We are also a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

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Our RAP

Our RAP The Senior Management Group of Carers Queensland first began discussions around undertaking the RAP process in late 2012. Carers Queensland felt that it was crucial for us to embark on the journey to reconciliation, as our Senior Management Group could see the clear benefits and opportunities in undertaking such a commitment. It is important for us to be inclusive in our programs and services that we offer and to ensure that reconciliation is taken seriously by embedding the ethos and philosophy of reconciliation into our workforce. Our organisation’s values are intrinsically linked to the values of human rights for everyone, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, disability, social and economic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, beliefs or contribution to society. We also see the immense opportunities that can arise out of better engagement processes that lead to building important relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities throughout Queensland. There are also opportunities to partner with businesses, education and employment providers and to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers that we can support. The Board of Governance approved the development of the RAP in February 2013. A statewide RAP Working was established in October 2013 with a clear Terms of Reference. Members of this group include a broad cross section of staff representing different program areas and geographical locations. The group includes senior managers, board members, program staff, counsellors, database officers and education and training staff. The RAP Working Group also has an Aboriginal consultant on board to guide and advise the group. We have consulted widely with government departments, education and employment providers and community organisations to help inform our RAP.

At the time of the 2011 Census, 155,824 people or 3.6% of Queensland’s population identified as being of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander origin, an increase of 22.1% compared with the 2006 Census. This means that there are potentially over 17,000 carers who identify as Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander origin as well as over 2,000 that are young carers. Carers Queensland is in contact with only a tiny fraction and therefore we need to build much better relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, service providers and other stakeholders. Practical strategies need to be developed and opportunities explored. As Reconciliation Australia points out “reconciliation is everybody’s business” We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more likely to be carers than people of the broader Australian community, and the very core of the business for Carers Queensland is to support all carers across Queensland. Yet we are not reaching these very important target groups. There are four key goal areas in our 2012 - 2015 Strategic Plan: • Capacity and resilience of the caring role – We are committed to providing quality programs and services that assist carers in their caring role • Individual capacity and resilience of carers – We will increasingly focus on early intervention and carer health and wellbeing activities • Financial capacity and resilience of carers – We will look for flexible education and training opportunities and advocate for flexible working environments for carers • Organisational capacity and resilience – We will implement quality assurance procedures and systems to ensure accountability These goals are equally applicable to all carer target groups and we must become a culturally responsive organisation so that all carers in Queensland are aware of our services, and can make an informed and considered choice about accessing our information, education and support programs.

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Carers Queensland’s Chief Executive Officer, Debra Cottrell, is our RAP Champion and will be actively promoting our RAP both internally and externally. The working group consists of: Jayne Ryan, Manager New Programs and Client Services Central (Project Lead) Tony Ayers, Manager Director Dibing Consultancy Diane Vella, Board Member Ellen Slater, Senior Coordinator, Counselling & Family Advocacy Programs Tiso Fiaola, Manager Client Services South West Debbie Goodgame, Better Start Project Officer, Cairns office Neville Coventry, Team Leader, Ipswich office Lalita Lakshmi, Education and Training Project Officer Maria Edubas, CALD Project Officer Andrew Mayes, Counsellor Tania White, Database Support & Training Current relationships both formal and informal we have that are ongoing are; • Wuchopperen, Cairns (MOU in place) • Indigenous Community Capacity Building Network, Toowoomba • Indigenous Community Leadership Solutions, Toowoomba • Indigenous Allied Health Liaison staff (Toowoomba Health Service), Toowoomba • PRIDE Steering Group, (Prevention, Rehabilitation, Intervention, Diversion, Education) Moreton Bay region • Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – Widening Participation, Moreton Bay Region • Indigenous Wellbeing Centre (IWC), Wide Bay • Centrelink Indigenous and Multicultural Officers, Wide Bay • Indigenous Elders from Cherbourg, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough • Ka’Lang Day Respite Indigenous Clients, Wide Bay • Butchalla Elders, Wide Bay • Bidgerdii Community Health Services, Rockhampton • Aboriginal & Islander Community Resource Agency, Rockhampton • Girudala Community Co-Op Society Ltd, Mackay • Medicare Local- Townsville – Mackay, Mackay • Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Women & HACC Program, Townsville • Kabbarli Home and Community Care, Sunshine Coast • Indigenous members of the CAN (Community Advisory Network), Roma • Kalwun Health Services, Gold Coast • Yallburru [ Gold Coast Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Community Consultation (GCATSICCC)], Gold Coast • Bundjalung Kunjiel Dancers & Artists, Gold Coast Internal activities/initiatives • A Cultural leave policy was developed by the Senior Management Group and approved for implementation at the October 2013 Board of Governance meeting. Other programs • Counselling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers in Cairns and surrounding areas is undertaken via a partnership project with Wuchopperen Health Services, funded through Carers Queensland’s Counselling program.

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Relationships Carers Queensland is in the business of providing services and support to carers throughout the state. We acknowledge that the expertise, knowledge and ability to better engage and understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples is found within the communities and individuals themselves. We therefore actively pursue the development of these relationships with community groups, stakeholders and leaders. By fostering collaborative partnerships and meaningful relationships we are better able to deliver effective services and achieve the best outcomes for all carers. Although Carers Queensland has built some good relationships with mainstream organisations, we acknowledge that we have a long way to go in terms of developing meaningful, ongoing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Sound relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will ensure our organisation is truly responsive to all carers.

ACTION

RESPONSIBILITY

TIME LINE

DELIVERABLE

Manager New Programs 1.1 Carers Queensland RAP Working Group actively monitors RAP development, including implementation of Team Leader actions, tracking progress and reporting

February 2014/15 April 2014/15 September 2014/15 December 201415

- RAP working group to meet at least four times per year

February 2014

- Identify regional RAP Connectors who can help Carers Queensland better engage in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

1.2 Develop external relationships with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, communities, organisations to assist, inform and provide advice for carers Queensland

Database Officer

December 2013

- Develop a list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations and stakeholders within our local area or sphere of influence that we could approach to assist us in our understanding of the potential activities in the Carers Queensland RAP

Database Officer

December 2013

- Existing organisations information printed out and regions to check to see if they are up to date

Manager New Programs December 2013

- Information gathered from regions for current/potential relationship and/or activities and what their engagement processes are

CEO

December 2015

- Organise at least 5 meetings with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations within the Carers Queensland regions

1.3 Celebrate National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and broader Australian community to build relationships

Team Leader in each regional office

27th May to 3rd June each year

- Carers Queensland to organise at least one internal event to celebrate NRW and invite an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guest speaker

CEO

27th May to 3rd June 2014

- Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, RAP working group and Senior Management/ Staff to attend a community NRW event

Marketing and Communications Manager

May 2014

- Carers Queensland will promote NRW through social media and website

1.4 Raise internal awareness of the Carers Queensland RAP to raise internal awareness of the RAP in order to increase employees understanding and commitment to reconciliation

Manager New Programs December 2013

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- Present and promote the Carers Queensland RAP commitment to all relevant areas of the organisation to ensure all employees have an understanding of how their area can contribute to reconciliation

Team Leader in each regional office

May 2014

- Organise and display appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imagery in offices such as posters and artwork

Consulting Manager

February 2014

- A logo is to be designed that signifies Carers Queensland connection with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and is developed and incorporated into the RAP. The logo will be designed by an member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through an expressions of interest

Manager New Programs February 2014

- Investigate creating signature blocks as standard that refer to respecting and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


Respect Carers Queensland respects and values the unique cultures and circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living across the state.  We also recognise the importance that communities, service providers and individuals play in maintaining, respecting and supporting these cultures.   Carers Queensland acknowledges that we must work hard to earn the respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and kin as well as to recognise and value our differences.  It is pivotal that correct approaches to lore, language and leadership are undertaken with transparency and authenticity. This development will enhance collaborative partnerships that will be conducive to deliver effective, meaningful and long term commitment to achieve the best outcomes for all carers, communities, families, kin and friends. We will nurture all opportunities of relationship with respect for culture and diversity.

ACTION

RESPONSIBILITY

TIME LINE

DELIVERABLE

Manager Client Services February 2014 2.1 Raise internal understanding of protocols and Team Leader in each March 2014 engage employees regional office in understanding the protocols around Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country ceremonies to ensure there is shared meaning behind the ceremonies.

- Develop, implement and communicate a protocol document for our organisation

2.2 Celebrate NAIDOC Week Manager Client Services May 2014

- Review HR policies and procedures to ensure there are no barriers to staff participating in NAIDOC

- Identify at least one significant event for which a welcome to country from a Traditional Owner will be included

Team Leader in each regional office

1st Sunday to 2nd Sunday in July each year

- Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, RAP working group and encourage Senior Management/Staff to attend a community NAIDOC event

Team Leader in each regional office

June 2014

- Organise at least one internal NAIDOC Week event and investigate organising an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speaker

Marketing and Communications Manager

June 2014 each year

- Carers Queensland will promote NAIDOC Week through social media and website

2.3 Carers Queensland to engage employees in cultural learning to increase understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories

Manager New Programs September 2014

- Develop and implement a cultural awareness training strategy for Carers Queensland

CEO

August 2014

- Carers Queensland Senior Leadership, HR Managers and other key leadership to participate in training

2.4 Carers Queensland to respect, appreciate and acknowledge the special place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have in our nation

Team Leader in each regional office

May 2014

- Organise and display appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imagery in offices such as posters and artwork

Manager New Programs February 2014

- Investigate creating signature blocks as standard that refer to respecting and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Manager New Programs Jan 2014

- Purchase and display flags for all offices across the state

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Our organisation is perfectly placed to implement opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....


Opportunities Carers Queensland understands the importance in providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the work that we do, and to identify these opportunities within our organisation. Our organisation is perfectly placed to implement opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in areas of providing support at individual, group and community levels. We also endeavour to continue supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the most appropriate way with our core business activities such as education, health and improved living standards.

ACTION 3.1 Investigate opportunities to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within Carers Queensland

3.2 Investigate opportunities to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity for Carers Queensland

RESPONSIBILITY CEO and Manager New Programs

TIME LINE September 2014

DELIVERABLE - Scope and develop a business case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within Carers Queensland

Manager New Programs September 2014 and Manager Client Services

- Review HR procedures and policies to ensure barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are able to be addressed – staff induction to include RAP

CEO and Manager New Programs

November 2014

- Develop and implement an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment strategy

HR Officer

September 2014 onwards

- Advertise all vacancies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media.

Marketing and Communications Manager

October 2014

- Develop a business case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity

Marketing and Communications Manager

October 2014

- Review procurement policy barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

Marketing and Communications Manager

October 2014

- Develop a plan for Carers Queensland to publicly promote business opportunities available

Marketing and Communications Manager

October 2014

- Review and reform procurement strategy, policy and processes so that supplier diversity principles can be incorporated into our procurement strategy

Marketing and Communications Manager

October 2014

- Investigate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business links to be incorporated into the Care Program

Marketing and Communications Manager

June 2014

- Investigate in becoming a member of Supply Nation

Manager New Programs September 2014 3.3 Investigate opportunities to ensure future education and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers in Manager New Programs November 2014 various communities is advertised and information is accessible

- Present a paper to the Carers Queensland RAP Working group outlining opportunities around education, and what has been identified throughout consultation with internal and external stakeholders. This paper will assist in defining actions for subsequent RAPs for Carers Queensland - Carers Queensland to develop a strategy/program to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers in education and training programs to enhance their skills and employment opportunities

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Tracking Progress

ACTION

RESPONSIBILITY

4.1 Build support for the Database Officer Carers Queensland RAP

4.2 Carers Queensland produce an annual survey for staff to measure our employees understanding and attitudes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

TIME LINE March 2014

- Advise staff how to search for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and community contacts

Carers Advisory Service Officer

March 2014

- Define available resources for the Carers Queensland RAP and distribute to employees

Database Officer

October 2014

- Implement a data collection process that is able to measure our RAP progress and successes

Policy Officer

March 2014

- Investigate and develop a survey to collect data to measure progress and successes of our RAP

Manager New Programs Before 30th 4.3 Report achievements, September annually challenges and learnings to Reconciliation Australia for inclusion in the RAP Impact Measurement Report. 4.4 Carers Queensland RAP refreshed

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DELIVERABLE

Manager New Programs January 2016

- Complete and submit the RAP Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia annually

Updated RAP to be submitted to Reconciliation Australia


Artwork by Nancy Torrens Snake Dreaming is a reflection of Nancy’s Totem. I am an Indigenous Woman. My country is Bunjalung, Northern, N.S.W. I started painting 8 years ago. I am establishing myself as a competent and reputable artist. My artwork is essentially about my identity and use of my totems the Goanna, Turtle and Snake. Photography by Wayne Quilliam Designed & Printed by Snap Underwood Snap’s design of the Carers Queensland Reconciliation Action Plan 2014 - 2015 was inspired by the artwork of Nancy Torrens. The beautiful earthy tones and curves throughout the painting are reflected in the design to depict Queensland and the flow of our quality of life in our Sunshine State.


Carers Queensland Inc Head Office 15 Abbott Street Camp Hill QLD 4152

Carers Queensland Inc. ABN. 20 061 257 725

p: 07 3900 8100 w: www.carersqld.asn.au @Carers Queensland @CarersQLD

For information, advice, carer support and access to counselling, advocacy and other services, contact the Carer Advisory Service 1800 242 636 (free call except from mobiles)


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