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 21% over the last four 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.
Reconciliation Action Plan
In November 2020, Berry Street embraced Reconciliation Australia’s RAP program, spending time understanding how our programs support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, while reflecting on our reconciliation maturity, exploring who we are, and who we want to be as an organisation.
From November 2020 to November 2021, Berry Street successfully completed the organisations Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This included implementing 47/47 deliverables outlined in the strategic document. Through staff’s commitment and spirit to reconcile, new projects emerged throughout the year, demonstrating that reconciliation was landing in the hearts of our teams.
To support transparency regarding our progress, two RAP reports were written and circulated to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and our staff.
To view our Reflect RAP and our progress reports, see the RAP page below.
It is important to note that while the organisation has completed set tasks outlined in the Reflect RAP, reconciliation at Berry Street is 365 days a year. This means that the organisation will continue to operate under the values of the Reflect RAP document, until Berry Street is ready to launch an Innovate RAP.
Currently, Berry Street is in the development phase of Reconciliation Australia’s Innovate RAP program. As we continue learn and grow on this journey, we are committed to supporting a service where reconciliation lives in the hearts, minds and actions of all our teams.