What we do
UnitingCare NSW.ACT is the peak body for all community services, chaplaincy and the social justice and advocacy activities of the Uniting Church in the New South Wales and ACT Synod. Its work is inspired and guided by the biblical principles of justice and compassion. UnitingCare NSW.ACT reports to the UnitingCare Board within the New South Wales and ACT Synod and is part of the National network of UnitingCare Australia.
Through its Executive staff, UnitingCare NSW.ACT directly manages chaplaincy services, a number of community services and innovative demonstration projects such as the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.
UnitingCare services are provided by congregation based committees and boards — including parish missions — or by its Service Groups; UnitingCare Ageing and UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families. UnitingCare has a role on behalf of the Synod in relation to monitoring the relevance, standards, effectiveness and sustainability of community services provided through Uniting Church congregations, agencies and service networks.
UnitingCare NSW.ACT is a "bottom up" organization where local ownership, management and integration of services — developed in response to identified local needs — is promoted. Our role is to coordinate these activities, resourcing and supporting those within the Uniting Church who share our commitment to service to our community and our vision of a more just and compassionate society.
In all of its work, at all levels, UnitingCare relates the work of the Uniting Church to the broader community, keeping the Church in touch with the important issues of the day and keeping the community aware of the views of the Church.
Our high profiled social justice work takes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and puts it up against the complex issues of the world. Of course it may be controversial, especially when it challenges people within the Church and the broader community to rethink some of their ideas. But how can we be a Church with integrity if we do not take up issues on behalf of the marginalized and disadvantaged? All our work is biblically based and is built on the strong foundations of the traditional faith of the Church.
There are many definitions of Social Justice but one which strikes a chord is the 1994 statement by Mick Dodson, Aboriginal activist and commentator when he said:
"Social Justice is what faces you when you get up in the morning.
It is awakening in a house with an adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation.
It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to a school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge of and appreciation of their culture.
It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health; a life of choices and opportunity, free from discrimination."Mick Dodson