Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the First Nations people of Australia and we recognise their ongoing connection to the land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. Seniors Rights Service acknowledges the unique position and contribution made by First Nations people to our culture and our future. We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Australia and, as a rights-based organisation, we are committed to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are active participants in our operations and activities and that we deliver culturally safe and responsive services to First Nations seniors living in NSW.
Seniors Rights Service has a Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan that guides us to strengthening collaborative relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led organisations and communities through relationships that are based on trust, respect and recognition. Listening and learning about the needs of First Nations seniors and ensuring our services are appropriate and accessible is a priority for Seniors Rights Service.
We also have a First Nations Employment Strategy that will ensure that inclusive employment practices are in place. It recognises that we can only achieve greater engagement with, and relevance to, older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities with the inclusion of First Nations staff. Building a team that is strong, open and diverse will improve our services for all clients.
Seniors Rights Service’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols provide guidance for staff to inform their work and practices. A main objective of these Protocols is to ensure that we are respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cultural beliefs and practices in all our endeavours.
We celebrate First Nations events such as Reconciliation Action Week, NAIDOC Week and the Yabun festival. Around NSW, we engage with First Nations people and communities through education and information sessions, at interagency meetings, though home care providers and with Aboriginal controlled aged care facilities. We also listen at more informal gatherings, such as meeting with Aboriginal Elders groups, to hear from them what their concerns are and see how our services can assist. Our legal staff are involved with the Community Legal Services NSW Aboriginal Legal Access Program and the Aboriginal Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service.
As an organisation we support the Uluru Statement From the Heart and recognise and support the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the need for a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Australian Constitution.