Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan launched at special ceremony

Last Thursday 18 August was a momentous day for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

After months of hard work, the Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched with a special event at St Joseph’s Toronto.

Hundreds of people attended the occasion that involved several speeches and a unique painting to symbolise the journey.  

Director of Pastoral Ministries Teresa Brierley was moved by the turnout.

“It was amazing and pleasing to see so many dedicated people from across the Diocese at the RAP launch,” she said.

Teresa adds the Reflect RAP acknowledges that the Diocese needs to do more to develop meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Reconciliation is born out of respectful relationships based on trust while recognising the truth of the history which has gone before and acknowledging the harm done to people who have lost their land, culture, customs and language,” she said.

“I think we are being invited to seriously consider the Uluru Statement from the Heart regarding voice, treaty, truth and the possible upcoming referendum. In doing so, this will encourage us to recognise we live on a very ancient land which has been cared for by the first inhabitants of this country.

“We should feel privileged to call it home.”

The plan centres on four pillars of Relationships, Respect, Opportunities, and Governance. It is endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and follows their framework.

Committing to the RAP means scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on our vision for reconciliation and exploring our sphere of influence. 


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