We Walk Together by Robert Barton

Our vision for reconciliation

To be culturally responsible and committed to social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We will be unified, positive and healthy.

St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital is a vital expression of the reconciliation mission of UnitingCare in our desire to reach out to people in need, provide compassionate care and speak out for fairness and justice.

As part of the UnitingCare family, our reconciliation journey is guided by the core values of:



It is essential for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to decide how best to move into the future.



Healthy relationships are central to building co-operative partnerships based on trust and respect.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be heard and influential within the workplace.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are Australia’s First Nation Peoples. To have this reality acknowledged and accepted is at the heart of respect.

Read UnitingCare’s latest Reconciliation Action Plan here.

Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

At St Andrew’s, we:

  • Build relationships with Indigenous Advisors, who provide cultural advice and links to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Ensure an Acknowledgement of Country takes place at informal and small events such as meetings. At larger events, such as the opening of a new hospital or service, local Elders are invited to provide a Welcome to Country ceremony.
  • Hold events during National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week to deepen cultural understanding amongst staff and strengthen relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Embed adherence to a cultural capability checklist across all functions of the hospital.
  • Actively promote the importance of all staff participation in face-to-face cultural appreciation workshops and completion of our e-learning training modules.
  • Encourage all staff to be curious about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and engage with our Reconciliation Action Plan committee to broaden their understanding of our reconciliation journey.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Support Service

With respect for culture, we are committed to reconciliation and to supporting you and your family on your healing journey, both during and after your visit to St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Support Services consist of First Nations staff who are available to support your cultural and emotional wellbeing while in hospital.

Learn more about our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Support Service here.

Life in all its fullness artwork

In 2020, South Sea Islander and Butchulla artist and designer Tarni O’Shea was commissioned to create an artwork (pictured above) to celebrate the launch of UnitingCare’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

UnitingCare’s reconciliation story is embedded on a foundation layer acknowledging more than 65,000 years of culture that have guided us here today. The central element represents rejuvenation of the land through fire, constructive conversations, and creating an environment of learning and healing. It evolves to reinvigorate the environment, just as UnitingCare adapts to support and guide people through personalised care. This only happens when equality, respect, compassion and self-determination are present. Nurturing the growth of this environment are UnitingCare business functions. These represent the vital role UnitingCare and all parts of the organisation play in sustaining the vitality of the environment. Every element contributes to the health of the environment, helping to share knowledge and build relationships.

Freshwater and saltwater flows around this, connecting UnitingCare to people far and wide. Throughout, the centre is radiant and flourishing, representing the growth and opportunities that come with being connected and empowered. When all these elements work together, a nurtured spirit ignites and thrives. With ongoing care, the environment grows stronger, empowering UnitingCare to let its spirit soar.