Centacare has launched its Reconciliation Action Plan with a focus on cultural diversity and mutual respect.

We believe reconciliation should be a personal and value-based experience of all Australians, as we move towards respect for the lands, culture, heritage, languages and each other.

The RAP encourages us to celebrate and embrace our cultural diversity by relating to one another through our similarities and talking openly about our differences.

The front cover painting is by Ngarrindjeri artists and Centacare workers, Rosslyn Richards, Natasha Sumner, Lyn Lovegrove Niemz, and participants of the 2014 Family Relationships Services Australia Conference in Adelaide.

The artwork represents Ngarrindjeri fresh water source, the River Murray, Coorong.

Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, the RAP was launched at Centacare’s service Expo, held at Morphettville Racecourse, on July 13.

A charcoal portrait of acclaimed Aboriginal singer-songwriter, Archie Roach, by Ngarrindjeri artist, Damien Shen, was also installed at the event.

Centacare purchased the drawing by silent auction at the National Reconciliation Week breakfast earlier this year, with proceeds of the sale donated to the Stolen Generations.

“Centacare is truly committed to reconciliation and I am very happy to launch our RAP and install this sketching which holds special meaning to us here,” Director Dale West said at the Expo.

Aboriginal Leadership Committee

Centacare receives valuable insight from the Manager of Aboriginal Services, John Lochowiak, and the Aboriginal Leadership Committee (ALC).

Through the committee and informed by our RAP, we work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to deliver culturally inclusive strategies, events and policies for clients and staff.

The 2016 ALC members are:

  • John Lochowiak – Manager of Aboriginal Services and head of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Adelaide,  John was appointed chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSIC) in 2015. A Wati (initiated Man), John has strong ties to many language groups throughout Australia, including the Pitjantjatjara, Kaurna, Ramindjeri and Arrernte. He is a father of five.
  • Eric Richards – Eric is a Ngarrindjeri person and was born at Raukkan. He is a support worker with Centacare’s Personal Helpers and Mentors Service. A member of the Stolen Generations, Eric says his own story helps him to relate to others experiencing challenges in their lives. “I enjoy my work helping others in need to achieve their individual goals by using their strengths to make positive steps towards a fulfilling life within the community.”
  • Rosslyn Richards – A proud Ngarrindjeri woman, Rosslyn is a Family Practitioner for Por:lar Ka:ngkun Tainkwalun (children laughing and playing) Journey to Learning Program. The program provides a mobile playgroup, adventure activities and support for families with children transitioning to kindergarten and school.
  • Lynette Niemz –  Lynne is an Aboriginal Cultural Consultant and provides support for foster families caring for Aboriginal children. An accomplished artist, Lynne is a Ngarrindjeri woman and was raised in the Coorong on the Murray River.
  • Natasha Sumner
  • Vincent Bizzell

Cultural support

We have enormous respect for the contributions Aboriginal people make to our community.

The Centacare Aboriginal Worker Support Policy is regularly reviewed to ensure content is culturally relevant and effective in guiding our approach to the recruitment of staff and supporting their wellbeing.

Cultural protocols provide guidance for workers in developing respectful relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait colleagues and clients.

All staff members undergo compulsory Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training.

Reconciliation statements are displayed in all our sites. Smoking ceremonies and Aboriginal performing artists are included in official openings and celebrations on Traditional Lands.