A Wollongong agency has unveiled a new reconciliation plan, which aims to establish an inclusive community where indigenous people have a strong sense of belonging.
On Wednesday, CatholicCare Wollongong celebrated the launch of the latest Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2021.
According to CatholicCare, the event marks a decade of engagement with the Aboriginal community, and the official launch of a holistic plan to create "meaningful projects which are delivered in collaboration with our local community".
The plan is endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
"Reconciliation is a journey of positive actions and consistency, motivated by authentic relationships built on respect and trust," CatholicCare director Michael Austin said.
"CatholicCare predominantly self-funds the Reconciliation Action Plan and our indigenous programs because we genuinely want to invest our resources, time and energy into collaborating with the Aboriginal community.
"As an organisation, and as individuals, we understand the importance of walking together with the Aboriginal community to foster genuine relationships and share knowledge.
"We are also learning important protocols of engagement on this journey."
These relationships have helped create programs like Deadly SIBS (Siblings with a disability), which supports Aboriginal children who have a sibling with a chronic illness or disability.
This new program was initiated with the support of Aunty Beverley Armer and Rod Broad, who worked with CatholicCare staff to get the project started.
This program will be launched shortly, delivering services to many Aboriginal families throughout the area.
This year, CatholicCare also began hosting an Elders Group at the Wollongong site, to provide a safe place for connecting, sharing and empowering.
The meetings provide an opportunity for the sharing of cultural traditions and customs.
CatholicCare is the social services agency of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, covering the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Macarthur and Southern Highlands regions.