The Uniting Church commits itself to the care, protection and safety of all vulnerable people with whom it comes into contact. We welcome and support the Royal Commissions into child sexual abuse, treatment of people with a disability and our elderly in aged care as the Commissioners inquire into what governments, institutions and the community, including churches, should do to keep people free from harm and valued members of society.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The National Assembly, with the support of each Synod, established a national framework for engagement with and response to the Royal Commission. An important part of the framework was to enable the various parts of the Uniting Church to act collaboratively and to speak with one voice when responding to the Royal Commission.
Our prayer is that through the work of the Royal Commission, there will be healing, justice and reconciliation for all those who have suffered, and that the learnings and recommendations from the Royal Commission will identify how all our children can be better protected from abuse now and into the future.
We once again offer our sincere apologies to all children in the Church’s care who suffered sexual abuse of any form, whether that abuse happened after Uniting Church union in 1977 or before that, in predecessor Churches and Children’s Homes.
Find out more about Redress.
Royal Commission Final Report
14 December 2017
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan, issued a Pastoral Statement to coincide with the end of the Royal Commission and in it he welcomed the Commission’s Final Report and thanked the Commissioners and staff for their work.
“We will consider the Final Report carefully, reflect on its findings and recommendations, and implement measures to deliver the best quality of care, service and support for children in our churches, agencies and schools,” said Stuart.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse Neglect and Exploitation Against People with a Disability
“The Uniting Church welcomed the establishment of the Disability Royal Commission and expressed hope that it would shine a light on the inappropriate treatment of people with disability and lay out a path to help prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability.
The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church affirmed that all people are created in the image of God and along with all members, the faith, gifts, hopes and dreams of people with disability are to be valued and honoured. The Uniting Church seeks to ensure that people with disability have their hopes and rights realised.”
The Assembly has established a National Task Group to coordinate our Church’s response, requesting Synods to also establish Task Groups. The Synod of Western Australia Task Group includes representatives from congregation members with a lived experience of disability and relevant Synod and Presbytery staff.
Uniting Church WA Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
‘The Uniting Church in Australia believes everyone is created equal in the image of God. The Church embodies a movement of Christ’s reconciliation among all people, in which “the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole” (Basis of Union para 3)
The UCWA Disability Access and Inclusion Policy was adopted at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA. The Policy is a result of four years work by the Disability Royal Commission Synod Task Group and now paves the way for the development of a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) for 2023-2026.
The Policy also recognises and aligns with the Disability Welcome and Access statement which was affirmed at the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia in 2018. Visit the UCA Assembly website to find out about its Disability Access Resources too – https://uniting.church/disabilityaccess/
Good Sammy Enterprises
Creating a Better Future for People with a Disability
The Uniting Church is very proud of Good Sammy Enterprises which has provided employment, job training, support and services to many people with disabilities across WA since 1958. It is also well known and loved for its Op Shops which provide work for people of ‘all abilities’.
A statement from the Good Sammy’s website captures well what they are about:
‘We empower people to make their own choices so they can identify their goals, feel connected to their community and be supported as they work towards independence and meaningful employment’.
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
In their Final Report, the Royal Commissioners make 148 wide-ranging recommendations for the fundamental reform of the aged care system.
Juniper Aged Care and Home Care
The Uniting Church is very proud of Juniper Residential and Home Care services which as a leading aged care agency with over 70 years of experience, offers a wide range of quality care homes throughout metropolitan Perth and regional Western Australia.
A statement from Juniper’s website demonstrates their person-centred care model:
‘You will feel right at home with Juniper’s residential aged care services. Our warm and friendly staff will take the time to get to know you, your individual needs, preferences, personal interests and hobbies’.