Our vision for reconciliation
Vision Australia’s vision for reconciliation is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are blind or have low vision, will have access to, and be able to fully participate in every aspect of life they choose. To achieve this vision, all Australians must have the opportunity to make informed choices about their lives and realize their full individual and collective potential.
There is a high incidence of blindness and low vision in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. However Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are currently under-represented among Vision Australia clients. We need to change this.
Our challenge is to deliver culturally sensitive services to ensure there are no unintended barriers to accessing our services
A message from our CEO:
Vision Australia recognizes that there is a high incidence of blindness and low vision in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. However we also recognize that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are currently under-represented amongst our clients.
This, our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), formalizes our commitment to removing any unintended barriers in our organization so that all Australians who are blind or, have low vision, will have access to, and fully participate in every aspect of life they choose.
Vision Australia acknowledges and respects the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures across Australia, and the importance of providing culturally sensitive services that meet community and individual needs. Therefore, our RAP identifies the areas in which we need to grow and change our organization systemically, culturally and environmentally.
This RAP is the result of many years of hard work of clients and staff of Vision Australia. Their passion and commitment has guided the development and writing of our RAP. I would like to extend my appreciation to all those who have contributed directly and indirectly. I know there has been extensive negotiation, consultation and discussion across the vast distances that our organization covers.
Vision Australia is a not-for-profit organisation delivering services to people who are blind or have low vision. We are a partnership between people who are blind, sighted or have low vision. We are united by our passion that people who are blind or have low vision will have access to and fully participate in every part of life they choose.
Vision Australia has over 900 staff and 4000 volunteers who are highly skilled and dedicated, providing services at offices located in metropolitan and country areas. Additionally, Vision Australia has a highly active Client Representative council that represents the needs of our diverse client group.
Our RAP Journey
Our RAP has been developed in consultation with clients, staff, and volunteers across the organisation as well as with external stakeholders. The RAP journey began with Vision Australia's Client Representative Council (CRC) ensuring Indigenous representation on their Council. From this, the Indigenous Working Group (IWG) formed which consisted of clients and staff from across the organisation. Extensive discussion and consultation led to the decision that Vision Australia would commit itself to developing a RAP. Therefore the IWG became the RAP Working Group with Board and Executive support, along with representation from clients and staff.
This RAP, our first, represents Vision Australia’s commitment to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to address inequality.
We acknowledge and respect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures across Australia, and the importance of providing culturally sensitive services that meet community and individual needs. We believe that reconciliation is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and respectful nation – where the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures are valued, and they can participate in opportunities afforded to all Australians.