Artist: Karen Lovett

Vinnies Victoria launches Reflect RAP

On 17 February 2021, almost 200 employees and volunteers across St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Vinnies Victoria) and our subsidiary VincentCare Victoria (VCV) got together over Zoom to celebrate the launch of Vinnies Victoria’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)*. 

Wurrundjeri Elder Georgina Nicholson urged everyone to “look for new ways to connect”, Indigenous Chair Johnny Briggs urged everyone to be kind, VCV’s Indigenous chair Marie Murfet spoke about looking forward to working with Vinnies on reconciliation and proud Gunditjmara woman, artist and teacher Karen Lovett reminded everyone that “education is the key”.

Reconciliation matters greatly to Vinnies Victoria because of who we are and what we do. More than 166 years ago, we were set up to address suffering, take responsibility for poverty and inequality and promote human dignity. 

We have seen the trauma in First Nations people we assist. Like VCV, which has already begun its reconciliation processes, we could no longer stand by. We are beginning this very important journey together. 

As our CEO Sue Cattermole says: “We want our voice to be part of the chorus that tells the truth about our sometime dark history. If we are serious about reconciliation – and we are – we need to acknowledge and sit with this uncomfortable truth.”  

Our Reflect RAP, featuring Karen’s beautiful artwork, is about reflecting on the ways we can unintentionally contribute to exclusion. But it’s also about reflecting on ways we can contribute to positive and meaningful change. In this Reflect RAP we have committed to:

  • Working towards building a more just and fairer life for traditional owners. 
  • Partnering with First Nations peoples, and learning about the wrongs of the past that we can find meaningful solutions in the present. 
  • Continuing our reconciliation journey by developing our next RAP.

Vinnies Victoria wants to see real, meaningful change and we are committed to helping lead that change.  

Read Vinnies Reflect RAP HERE

*What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)?
A RAP is a “strategic document that supports an organisation’s business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which it operates”, according to Reconciliation Australia.

The Reflect RAP is the first of four – the others are ‘Innovate, Stretch and Elevate’ – RAPs designed to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within an organisation. Vinnies Victoria’s Reflect RAP is simply the beginning of the charity’s ongoing journey towards reconciliation.