WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following article may contain images of deceased persons
I’m pleased to announce the launch of Christian Super’s first Reconciliation Action Plan.
Having lived and worked for a number of years with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in various parts of remote Northern Territory and Western Australia, my conviction is that all Australians have a role to play in engaging in the journey of reconciliation, both in the places we work and also in the individual lives we lead and the attitudes we hold and share.
Australians are privileged to share the second highest quality of life of ranking in the world. Yet when we compare Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on a range of life indicators, there is enormous disparity. Reasons for this disparity are complex, and the current ‘gap’ shows little sign of improvement and in some cases ongoing decline. Despite this there are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples around Australia who are proudly reviving, protecting and celebrating their culture and identity.
As a Christian organisation, we believe in the importance of embracing a posture of understanding, engagement and support for the issue of reconciliation. Throughout scripture there are numerous references to reconciliation, but in particular we are challenged by the passage from 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 which reads:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This passage calls us to engage and understand the journey of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, and reinforces a moral, social and spiritual imperative to be active participants and supporters of reconciliation in Australia.
As a superannuation fund there are many practical ways we can engage in a journey of reconciliation. This includes strengthening the cultural awareness and understanding of our own staff, improving access to our services and financial literacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, and focusing a number of our impact investments in projects to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The launch of our first Reconciliation Action Plan today gives some focus to a number of initiatives already well underway, and also highlights other areas of intentional focus over the coming season.
Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, we aim to:
- Establish a RAP Working Group (RWG) to actively monitor development and implementation of actions, tracking progress and reporting
- Participate in and celebrate National Reconciliation Week (NRW)
- Investigate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural learning and development
- Participate in and celebrate NAIDOC Week
- Investigate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and supplier diversity
- Strengthen access and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members within our fund and the superannuation sector in general
- Investigate ways in which impact investing can benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
To download and read our Reconciliation Action Plan simply click here.
CEO Christian Super
*Image credit: “So Loved” by Glenny Naden of the Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka and Koa Aboriginal nations, Bidjiwong Art