During June and July this year, we recognised National Reconciliation Week and celebrated NAIDOC Week in line with our commitments in our Reconciliation Action Plan
In collaboration with First Nations people, the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation organised a number of initiatives for our people to listen to First Nations voices and experience, and engage in First Nations culture.
Recognising National Reconciliation Week 2022
The theme of this year's National Reconciliation Week was "Be Brave. Make Change
In line with this theme and our Respect commitments under our Reconciliation Action Plan, our people participated in cultural walking tours in Sydney (Warrane
), Brisbane (Meanjin
) and Melbourne (Naarm
) learning the hard truths of our cities' histories. Guided by Aboriginal knowledge holders, our people developed a greater understanding of the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands and their continued knowledge systems. Here are some of their observations:
"To observe pieces of art and landmarks along the river at Kurilpa Point and gain a whole new perspective on what they mean for First Nations people, I really enjoyed it and am grateful for the occasion.
(Senior Associate on Jagera and Turrbal Land)
"I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to learn about the history of our city, the complexities of Indigenous culture and to reflect on how much more we have left to learn. This walk provided a fresh perspective on the places we are familiar with
(Graduate on Gadigal Land)
Food Pantry and Book Library
Those in the office were given the opportunity to pick up some Indigenous foods. Items included lemon myrtle, salt bush, strawberry gum, chilli oil, hot sauces, and jams. The products came from two Indigenous-owned businesses - Indigearth
and Mabu Mabu
with a shared mission to put native ingredients into Australian homes.
Additionally, a large collection of books written by First Nations authors were made available. The collection featured fiction, non-fiction and children's picture books that were taken home for our people to read and then share with family, friends and colleagues.
Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2022
For NAIDOC Week this year, we were pleased to finally enjoy events that were postponed two years in a row due to COVID-19.
This year's theme - Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
- called us all to step up in support of the First Nations community. Each office was filled with creative energy as our people showed up
to participate in hands-on painting and weaving workshops while learning about traditional Indigenous art forms.
We spoke with a few of our people about their experience learning about Aboriginal art:
"The Aboriginal Painting Workshop was such a great event. Wendy (WensArt) shared with us photos and stories of her life and took us through her art journey. She was so engaging and patient with our attempts to paint our own canvas and it's so nice walking around the office seeing everyone's paintings!
Leanne Dearlove, Senior Associate
"I loved learning a little bit about Cassie's story, language and Indigenous cultural heritage and of course an intro into traditional basket weaving with Wild Blak Arts. I will cherish my handmade pandanus bracelet and will try to continue to take Cassie's story and techniques forward."
Alicia Taylor, Senior Associate
"The group artwork we collaborated on during our Dalmarri Artists workshop was surprisingly impressive! We learnt from artists Jason and Trevor about the meanings behind the symbols used in Aboriginal art and the different painting styles, including the development of traditional methods to contemporary (yes, some of the dots were painted with pens). It was a special experience to be guided through painting a traditional Aboriginal artwork in a respectful and informative environment.
Zoe Elliott, Senior Associate
Additionally, during NAIDOC Week, we supported a number of First Nations companies through providing Indigenous-focused lunches to staff nationally. Our people enjoyed delicious foods with hints of Indigenous flavours such as peppery berry salt, sea parsley, lemon myrtle and strawberry gum.