Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs
The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia. We pay our respect to Elders and acknowledge their continuing relationship to this land and the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. We also acknowledge future aspirations of all First Nations peoples. Through respectful relationships we will work for the mutual flourishing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We commit ourselves in prayer and practice to this land of Australia and its people, seeking reconciliation, unity and equity.
At the heart of all Salvation Army programs and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities is a deep commitment to reconciliation, justice and respect. As part of this ongoing commitment, in 2020, The Salvation Army launched our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.Learn more
Our programs and partnerships aim to learn about, support, empower and encourage community leaders of the future, as well as help ‘Close the Gap’, working collaboratively towards greater equality in terms of life expectancy, health, housing, education and employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.
Programs range from early intervention, school engagement, youth education programs, youth leadership, youth justice, men’s and women's programs to housing programs and services, sports programs, recovery and wellness programs, traditional arts and crafts programs, faith expressions, visits by Salvation Army rural and flying chaplains and many more.
The Salvation Army has a wide range of programs across Australia, tailored to community needs. Below is a snapshot.
Leadership and resilience
The Salvation Army’s Leadership and Resilience Program in Townsville (Qld), encourages young Indigenous men, aged 14 to 15 years to connect more deeply with their culture, as one of four key areas of focus. Running annually, the program also works to build leadership and resilience in the areas of health and wellbeing, relationships, education and employability.
Homelessness and housing
In Port Augusta (SA), a range of programs and services, including the Generic Homelessness Service and Common Ground Port Augusta seek to address housing needs primarily for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.
The service provides support and case management to those who have lived in both urban and remote community settings, and who have moved in order to access health support, broader services, or to connect with family. Consideration is given to specific cultural needs, recognising the importance of kinship and family relationships.
Women and children
Making it Happen – a decade-long Salvos Women’s Ministry Project – provides opportunities for individual Salvos and corps (churches) to help meet the needs of women and children experiencing disadvantage. Making it Happen is currently focussed on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through The Waterhole (Alice Springs, NT) and through national programs supporting women who have been impacted by incarceration.
Building cultural competency and capability
Through the Territorial Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competency and Capability Framework, The Salvation Army is committed to ensuring programs, mission expressions and resources are culturally safe, appropriate, and accessible. Strategic support is provided through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Team who guide, advise, and collaborate, to ensure policies, programs and services address the diverse and unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.