National Reconciliation Week marked by the Anglicare Australia Network
Anglicare Australia Network staff have held and attended National Reconciliation Week activities across Australia, celebrating the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year's theme, In This Together, has proven to be especially relevant to the moment we are in. Although face-to-face activities have been scarce this year, there are many opportunities to participate remotely.
The Anglicare Australia team began the week by participating in Reconciliation Australia’s virtual Acknowledgement of Country initiative on Wednesday 27 May. We also shared a social media statement reflecting on the role of the Anglican Church in colonising Australia; and have participated in remote events including Servant or Slave screenings.
Other Network members have held their own remote activities. AnglicareSA convened a zoom conversation with forty AnglicareSA staff. The conversation was facilitated by Peter Sandeman, AnglicareSA CEO, and was joined by Shona Reid, Executive Director, Reconciliation SA. The conversation included shared reflections on the meaning of reconciliation and the theme of #InThisTogether. As the discussion took place, Zahra Zainal, Graphic Recorder captured the themes in words and images. This is the final graphic artwork.
In addition to this, AnglicareSA is also co-hosting Reconciliation in the West online. This will include a live lunchtime concert, streamed online, featuring the talented musician Nathan May. Reconciliation in the West also engaged the Nancy Bates to compose a song for #InThisTogether.
Anglicare WA has been running several online activities to commemorate Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. CEO Mark Glasson and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Leader Jasmine Gregory held a live discussion on the history and importance of Sorry Day, and resources have also been shared to enhance staff’s understanding of the importance of the events. The resources included information on the Bringing Them Home Report, a link to the healing foundation, and Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week fact sheets.
Anglicare WA staff were also involved in an online real time Aboriginal Art drawing session conducted by Jade Dolman, a local Noongar Artist. Jade discussed what reconciliation week and Sorry Day meant for her, and spoke about how art has been therapeutic for her during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Anglicare Southern Queensland’s RAP Working Group will be marking the week with multiple events, recording a panel discussion each day of National Reconciliation Week on a range of topics relating to reconciliation. The links to these recordings will be available here. Anglicare Southern Queensland has also collated a collection of resources for National Reconciliation Week.
Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh has reflected on National Reconciliation Week by recording a message exploring the ways that Anglicare NT can contribute to reconciliation in Australia. The video recording is available here.
As well as these highlights, other Anglicare Australia Network members held events all over Australia.
Click here for more information on this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme and activities.
Financial Wellbeing Network update
The Financial Wellbeing Network has been engaging in fruitful and lively discussions about managing financial counselling client caseloads in the context of recent increased funding. Members have found that their experiences of seeing decreased demand for emergency relief and financial counselling since COVID-19 are widely shared in the Network. They are using this time to connect with old clients, market their available financial wellbeing services and prepare for an anticipated increase in demand in the coming months and years.
With the assistance of Anglicare Australia, the Network has also set out to understand what place-based policy and services, as a recently popularised paradigm, means for the sector and for the Network in terms of the delivery of Emergency Relief, which is thinking that will be fed back into the Department of Social Services.
Anglicare Australia encourages anybody working across these areas to join these conversations.
To provide feedback to the Financial Wellbeing Network, contact Kayleigh Meumann on [email protected].
First Nations Staff Network update
The First Nations Staff Network recently held a mini-conference on 6 March 2020 in Sydney at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. The event was well-attended with sixteen staff from across the Anglicare Australia membership. Participants attended from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and ACT. All jurisdictions were invited to attend.
A major focus of the gathering was to improve cultural capability, recruitment and retention of Aboriginal staff. Key points discussed by the group included:
- Being bolder and prioritising targeted positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Rethinking position descriptions, interview spaces, questions, and panel members
- Providing a mentor or buddy system for staff
- Establishing structures and opportunities for information sharing.
Many more points and strategies and points were discussed by the group, and a report from the event is available to any First Nations Staff Network members working to improve cultural capability, recruitment and retention of Aboriginal staff in their organisation.
For more information about the mini-conference or the First Nations Staff Network, contact Ellen Bugge on [email protected].
Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network update
The Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network of Anglicare Australia has held a gathering via Zoom on April 23. The Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network is one of several national special interest networks, representing many Anglicare Australia members. This network has been meeting annually for over ten years. Peter Burke, Director Mission and Anglican Community Engagement AnglicareSA, is the Convenor of the network.
Members of the network are actively engaged in ministry through Anglicare Australia members, including Chaplaincy services for clients, staff and volunteers; spirituality, theology and the mission of the wider Anglican Community; and partnerships with parishes, dioceses and other parts of the Anglican community in which they actively participate.
The meeting included three sessions:
- Chaplaincy Focus
- Parish Community Engagement Focus
- Anglican Community and Network Focus.
The gathering involved almost thirty participants from across every State and Territory. A report from the meeting is available upon request.
For more information about the mini-conference or the Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network, email [email protected].