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2018 AWEI awards Uniting for commitment to LGTBIQ inclusion


Uniting has won three awards in the 2018 Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI), recognising the faith-based organisation for its commitment to inclusivity and support for the LGBTIQ community.

The AWEI awards are an independent benchmark of the actions taken by Australian organisations as LGBTIQ-inclusive employers. More than 130 organisations entered the 2018 AWEI awards by demonstrating their inclusiveness in the previous calendar year, which are then benchmarked against other organisations.

“All Uniting community services, including youth services, aged care and chaplaincy, are backed by an organisation-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity. We welcome all people irrespective of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or intersex status,” Uniting Director Customer, People and Systems, Jill Reich said.

The three AWEI awards presented to Uniting in 2018 are:

  1. A gold employer award, one of only 12 awarded and the only non-government not­ for-profit to receive the award this year;
  2. The award for Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion; and
  3. Uniting team member, Kimberly Olsen, was awarded the Sapphire Inspire Award for lesbian, bi or trans women of influence in the workforce.

In the last two years Uniting has also won the following AWEI awards;  the Pride in Diversity gold employer award and Best Not-For-Profit in 2016, and a silver employer award in 2017.

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT General Secretary, Rev. Jane Fry congratulated Uniting for their achievements.

“How fantastic to see Uniting recognised (again) for its inspiring work and ongoing commitment to inclusivity in all its operations. This is a real example of what it means to recognise the image of God in all people,” said Rev. Fry.

Ms Reich said that confronting injustice in order to create an inclusive and just world is one of the major aims of Uniting.

“This includes advocating for compassion and inclusivity for all Australians, including the many LGBTIQ members of our community,” Ms Reich said.

“These awards recognise Uniting’s ethos of welcoming people exactly as they are. In addition to promoting inclusivity within the workplace, Uniting teams also proudly participate in LGBTIQ community events across the state, including the Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill, Fruitopia Festival in Lismore, and Pride Marches in Dubbo.

“Uniting Church members have also participated in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 1998, and have marched alongside Uniting in recent years.”

In addition to being the only faith based organisation to receive the AWEI awards, Uniting was also the first faith-based organisation in Australia to receive Rainbow Tick accreditation, which it first received in 2015 for aged care and corporate services.

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