31 March 2023

Life Without Barriers' Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan - a game changer for Closing the Gap targets and the future of First Nations children.

Life Without Barriers has launched the organisation’s Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), cementing our commitment to an ongoing journey towards Truth Telling, Self Determination and Reconciliation.

As one of Australia’s largest providers of out-of-home care, a key component of Life Without Barriers' Reconciliation actions is to step away from the provision of care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and advocate for the support and investment of resources into community-controlled organisations.

The Life Without Barriers Elevate RAP commits the organisation to progressively transfer children to Aboriginal community-controlled services, placing decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children where it belongs – with family and communities.

Karen Mundine, Reconciliation Australia CEO, said the Elevate RAP was a game-changer for the well-being of First Nations children and families.

“This RAP includes substantive action that will have a profound impact on the lives of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities for years to come,” said Karen Mundine.

“For the first time, it will place power in the hands of those who best understand the strengths of and challenges to our families and children."

“The transformative actions arising out of this RAP come from a respectful partnership between Life Without Barriers and SNAICC and demonstrate the potential for RAPs to profoundly support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspirations for self-determination.”

Image: An Aboriginal boy wearing a red cloth and white body paint holds his arms out towards a man wearing a red cloth and white body paint. Text: Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-2025.

Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, Claire Robbs, said the partnership is an example of the genuine reform possible in child protection when organisations are encouraged and supported to strive further in their reconciliation commitments.

“Our commitment to step away from the provision of care is one part of the equation – equally important is our organisations' commitment to advocating for resourcing and investment to be directed into community-controlled organisations,” Ms Robbs said.

“The support of Reconciliation Australia and SNAICC had enabled us to shape our commitment and be on the right side of history.”

SNAICC - National Voice for Our Children CEO Catherine Liddle said Life Without Barriers' commitments set a precedent for other mainstream organisations working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

“Closing the gap for our children requires genuine effort from Governments and mainstream organisations to transform the way they work with us," said Catherine Liddle.

“Life Without Barriers is to be congratulated for having the vision and courage to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have the solutions and the expertise to know what works for our children and families."

The three organisations are calling on state and federal governments to increase resources to community-controlled child protection services to ensure the transfer can occur without disruption to children or families.

Image: Uncle Paul House and his son performing their Welcome to Namadgi Country.

We are committed to Reconciliation

Learn more about our commitment to Reconciliation through our Reconciliation Action Plan

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