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UnitingCare West’s Annual Public Meeting 2016

APM4On Tuesday 6 September UnitingCare West held its Annual Public Meeting (APM) in the newly refurbished training room at UnitingCare West’s Central Office in Victoria Park. The room reflected the refresh of UnitingCare West’s branding and was a lovely fresh space to host the APM.

The APM was opened by Harry Thorne, UnitingCare West’s Aboriginal Engagement Leader, with an Acknowledgement of Country in Nyoongar. Harry acknowledged that this meeting was being held on the traditional lands of the Wadjak Nyoongar People and paid respect to Elders both past and present. He also acknowledged the land and peoples of Nyoongar Peoples in other areas where UnitingCare West services are placed and to his People from the Gnaala Karla Boodja region of Western Australia as well. 

Daniel Viljoen, UnitingCare West’s Mission Development Leader, followed this with a Reflection. Daniel reflected on the word friendship and how UnitingCare West has formed some great friendships over the past year. Friendships through; partnerships, with congregations, through a new way of relating to clients in the disability space, through UnitingCare West’s commitment to reconciliation and the Reconciliation Action Plan. Daniel said, “Some of these friendships have just started, but will continue to grow and we will build on these relationships, so that we can continue to work with people and communities so those most in need can belong and thrive.” 

Sue Ash AO, UnitingCare West’s CEO, thanked the UnitingCare West Board, employees and volunteers for their commitment and then presented UnitingCare West’s  Annual Report and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) documents, both of which are now available publically. This was all part of a presentation reflecting on UnitingCare West’s first ten years and considerations for future directions. 

Sue listed an abundance of highlights over the last year including UnitingCare West’s refreshed brand, which you can read more about here

Sue also discussed the many highlights of UnitingCare West over the last ten years as the organisation this year celebrated the tenth anniversary of the merging of 8 Uniting Church services in 2006.   


Highlight: Lucy was selected as a finalist for NDIS 2016 ‘Excellence in Improving Participation Award’. Photo: Lucy Angus and Warehouse Café participants.

Some of the ten year highlights included: Strategic Directions, Employee Collective Agreement, Community connections including, measurement of in kind assistance, tenth birthday. 

During her talk Sue quoted Pauline R.Kezer saying, “Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.” Sue related this to UnitingCare West, looking at the formation and establishment of UnitingCare West from 2006 to 2010 as the roots, the development and growth of UnitingCare West from 2011 to 2016 as the growing branches and 2016 and onwards, UnitingCare West stretching, growing and reaching new heights. 

Sue discussed her recently published study paper, The Role of NFPs and Active Citizenship, and discussed the transition towards a new CEO for UnitingCare West following the announcement of her retirement earlier this month. 

The APM was attended by over 40 people from UnitingCare West services, the Uniting Church, UnitingCare West’s Board and interstate guests from UnitingCare Australia.