NAIDOC Week is formally held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
Since our first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2015, our NAIDOC celebrations have been growing. This year, we decided to celebrate NAIDOC week for the whole month. During that time, hundreds of Origin employees took part in events across Australia, including–
· Wiradjeri and Kaurna guided heritage walks to help people to better understand the history of the Traditional Owners of the land on which they work
· Local language insights shared by Yugambeh Museum
· An introduction to the history of the yidaki (didgeridoo) led by John Briggs
· Painting with symbols lead by Pitjantjatjara woman Audrey Brumby
· Site based dance and local traditions discussion with by Mandandanji man Lane Brookes
Over the month we’ve worked to partner with organisations who are influencing change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as Beyond Empathy who use arts to enrich the lives of individuals and communities experiencing recurring hardship. In Sydney we were joined by vocal artists David Leha (Radical Son) and Quarallia Knox who shared a moving vocal performance, and photographer Raphaella Rosella (Rosie) in a discussion about life and experiences in community.
Another highlight from our month of activity has been the generosity of our employees across Australia who banded together to donate over 1000 books to the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation, whose vision is for a future where all Indigenous children can pursue quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the country.
Melanie Grills, Manager Indigenous Relations, said “At Origin, we’re committed to partnering with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to build on the strength, resilience and capability of Australia’s First People. Our next Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) provides a framework to do this through targets around employment, business engagement, and by building on the knowledge base of Origin people.”