In developing our Reconciliation Action Plan, we have focused on building awareness and understanding within our teams via education, reflection and celebration. We consider this an opportunity to identify and commence relationships within the communities in which we operate, and our commitment in 2022 was to implement steps that would both educate our team and support relationships within Indigenous communities. The steps included actions items, deliverables and timelines under 4 categories: Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance.
The ambition to strengthen the relationships with this community and our team was driven by SVP/MD Mike Morgan and our Diversity & Inclusion Council. This ambition requires courage, clarity and commitment towards education and awareness across our team.
The progress to date includes:
- We have established and strengthened relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations: specifically with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) where we have provided financial sponsorship of books for children in remote communities, and we are providing reconditioned laptops to the institution and their education partners. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit founded in 2011 that works to address the educational disadvantages faced by Indigenous Australian children and young people by providing access to books and literacy programs.
- Lunch and Learn with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation: the ILF invited us to meet Tictac Moore, the ILF’s Regional Co-ordinator (and acting National Program Manager) who is located in Tiwi Islands, NT. Tictac has been involved with ILF for many years (at Tiwi College), and over three years ago became an ILF employee to deliver our programs such as Book Supply and the Publishing program, the Create Initiative and Pamela Lofts Bequest. This talk was attended by members of the Insight Diversity and Inclusion Council, including Mike Morgan SVP/MD APAC , Athena Thompson, Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council, and Marea Phillips Director People & Culture APAC, and we learned more about the opportunities that are being provided through our support and how access to technology devices is changing the education opportunities at Tiwi College and more about the important work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
- We are working with Reconciliation Australia to educate our teams during Reconciliation Week on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice; we will participate in the “First Nations Thinking” Cuppa Life online event on May 29, 2023, with Lorina Barker and Paul Callaghan at 12.30pm AEST. We have also purchased five limited edition art works from Reconciliation Australia for each of our Australia locations as we join in celebration of Reconciliation in 2023. The funds for the art go directly to the artist, Beverley Rogers.
- We have worked to increase understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning by inviting Madison Conners a proud Yorta Yorta (Wolithica clan), Dja Dja Wurrung (Moomnom Gunditj Bee clan) and Gamilaroi woman to talk about her artwork and culture. Madison Conners was born and grew up on her Kannygoopna (Shepparton) meaning the place in the river where big fish are caught. Madison is an artist, a human rights advocate, and a mother of two. Her business, Yarli Creative, is a coming together of her yarka (children), her yakapna (family) and her mulana (spirit).
- We continue to demonstrate respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples by observing cultural protocols through Acknowledgement of Country statements prior to formal meetings with teammates, clients and partners.
- We are working with key partners on future careers programs focused on employment outcomes and increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development.
- We continue to focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity, and support improved economic and social outcomes for First Nations’ owned businesses.
Our work continues in 2023, as we move onto step two of our Reconciliation Action Plan – Innovate. This requires us to outline actions for achieving our vision for reconciliation with a focus on developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, and developing and piloting innovative strategies to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We re excited about this next step in our journey, and we will continue to share and update our teammates on this important process and learning.