As part of Origin’s Reconciliation Action Plan, the company commits to celebrating NAIDOC Week across the business, providing employees with the opportunity to participate in local community events and specially held insight sessions in each state.
Tracing back to the 1920s, NAIDOC Week traditionally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, which sought to increase community awareness of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. Since then, the acronym has become the name of the week itself.
NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to Australian society. This year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held from 3rd – 10th July with the theme: Songlines – The Living Narrative of Our Nation.
The theme for NAIDOC Week last year was “We All Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate”. This theme is reflective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s strong spiritual and cultural connection to the land and sea. This could be a sacred geographic connection to a beach, lake, mountain range or ceremonial grounds, rock engravings and cultural gathering areas.
A commitment to grow a culture of respect
For Origin, celebrating NAIDOC Week is part of a broader commitment to grow a culture of respect through developing an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s cultures and contributions.
Employees are provided with the opportunity to take part in performing arts sessions; including activities such as Aboriginal dancing and canvas painting; bush tucker morning teas; and enlightening presentations from our community partners the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program. Our employees in Adelaide visited art displays at the Adelaide Town Hall and participated in the NAIDOC March from Victoria Square to Parliament House.
A chance to connect to celebrate Indigenous culture
Origin’s Reconciliation Advisory Committee member, Melanie Grills, was thrilled to see the expansion of the celebration in last years events.
“Historically, we have provided a week long program to parts of our business. We’ve tried to ensure that we have a varied and far-reaching program that ensures most of our staff have the opportunity to connect with Indigenous culture and celebrate achievements,” she said.
“To see the program and opportunities extended across the entire business gave me such a sense of pride – not only in regard to my cultural identity, but also as an Origin employee. It’s a great feeling to know that it’s a business imperative to participate in the biggest event of the year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
NAIDOC Week 2015 also marked the unveiling of two (from a total of seven) signs acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land at our Condabri Central and Reedy Creek sites in South-West Queensland.
Natasha Patterson, General Manager, Access, Land and Community said, “I think the signs are a fabulous way to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and grow our own internal awareness around the relationships we’ve created that have enabled us to do the work that we do.”