Underpinning all community service activities of the Uniting Church, UnitingCare Tasmania is strongly committed to social justice and advocacy. This is reflected in the statement from the inaugural worship service for the Uniting Church in 1977, which exhorted Church members “to engage in a fearless prophetic ministry in relation to social evils which deny God’s will for justice and peace (and) to act with God alongside the oppressed, the hurt, the poor”.
UnitingCare formulates social justice and human rights policy which may be taken to the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania for consideration.
Through the provision of information and resources to the Church and the community, UnitingCare Tasmania seeks to educate people about the need for social justice.
UnitingCare Tasmania also speaks out on behalf of people who do not ordinarily have a public voice. This is done through the writing of submissions and representations to government policy makers as well as through the media.
There are many definitions of social justice but one which strikes a chord is the 1994 statement by Aboriginal activist and commentator Mick Dodson, who 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.”