National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for National Reconciliation Week remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey, the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.
We believe we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.
Recently, here at Terra Rosa, we implemented our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a strategic document that supports our contributions to reconciliation both internally and within the local communities we work in.
We have taken this week to reflect on what we have achieved so far in terms of meeting our RAP targets and what we hope to accomplish over the coming months.
What have we achieved so far?
One of the key focuses over the past few months has been registering sites that key Elders would like protected. Recently, Regional Manager, Ash and Environmental Field Officer, James returned from a fantastic on-country planning trip with the Budadee rangers and their Elders. They visited five priority cultural sites and did healthy country planning at each one, coming up with a Site Management Plan. This will help in the future management of these important places.
We have also placed a focus on staff training, providing our team with formalised opportunities for extended cultural learning through regular cultural awareness training sessions run by our Indigenous business partners. This has allowed not only for the personal development of our staff, but also for contributions to reconciliation internally at Terra Rosa. Such training includes our cultural safety strategy, organising regular cultural awareness training for all staff and importantly, reviewing our HR policies.
Moreover, we have continued to work closely with our partners in Aboriginal ranger training. Terra Rosa’s Joe and Wara recently came back from a tourism training trip where the Budadee rangers worked with trainer Jane Ballantyne from North Regional TAFE to plan for tourists to visit selected cultural sites. As a result, they have put together a visitor management plan and three Aboriginal rangers attained their Cert I in Tourism (Australian Indigenous Culture).
What do we hope to accomplish?
Whilst we still have further to go, we are proud of the progress we have made and are excited to keep working on our commitments.
Reconciliation is at the forefront of our values here at Terra Rosa and lives in the hearts, minds and actions of all our staff. As we move forward we hope to create a team that is strengthened by respectful relationships between Terra Rosa, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.
We are excited to be attending the Walk for Reconciliation at Kaarta Koomba (Kings Park) on June 3, which will feature truth telling sessions, opportunities for reflection, cultural entertainment and we encourage others to attend.