Berry Street is deeply committed to reconciliation, 365 days a year. This includes being honest about our shared histories, acknowledging historical injustice, while actively addressing the current injustice experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We believe in justice and equity for all.
Berry Street acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the Traditional Custodians of the lands, skies and waterways across the nation. We recognise their great strength, resilience and resistance. Berry Street promises to respect, value and listen to voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We know that Aboriginal leadership is critical to our success, as an organisation and country.
Reimagining the system
The number of children in out-of-home care in Victoria has increased by 27% over the last five years. Sadly, these statistics tell us that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 20 times as likely to be in out-of-home care compared to non-Indigenous children.
Berry Street believes that culture is centre to care and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children should be raised by family, within community. We recognise that Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) are most equipped to have power, choice and control over determining best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In support of self-determination, we are committed to the safe transfers of Aboriginal children to ACCOs.
Currently, Berry Street is in the implementation phase of the organisation’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. During this time, we are undertaking authentic reflection and review of current practice, systems and relationships to develop meaningful understanding of how we support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and service users.
Berry Street will be transparent throughout our reconciliation journey and recognise that Aboriginal leadership is critical to our success.
We will strive to provide a service where reconciliation lives in the hearts, minds and actions of all teams.