Coming together for Reconciliation Week

South Australian Business News
Anthony Caldwell
Tuesday, May 28th 2024

To cleanse an area and its people of bad spirits and promote the protection and well-being of visitors’, this is the purpose behind the ancient smoking ceremony performed by First Nations Australians.

This week is National Reconciliation Week, and the staff at the South Australian Business Chamber were fortunate enough to be invited to a smoking ceremony by the team at Bunnings Group Limited, who occupy the group of offices one level above the Chamber.

Both teams gathered together on the balcony of our Greenhill Road office to participate in the ceremony performed by Ngarrindjeri/​Kaurna Elder, Uncle Moogy.

Uncle Moogy is a renowned Aboriginal cultural adviser, dancer, and environmental activist in South Australia, and currently serves as the South Australian Voice to Parliament.

After the ceremony, Uncle Moogy took the time to hold a Q+A to help further educate everyone on the importance of Reconciliation Week and the power of storytelling in strengthening the connection between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.

Uncle Moogy’s interpretation of reconciliation was a clear message of unity for all people who are lucky enough to call Australia home — to live together in peace, harmony, dance, stories and song.

We invite you to live alongside us, to dance with us, to be with us” he explained. 

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 Chamber is in the early stages of its journey towards reconciliation, forming a working group led by external facilitator Nicole Gollan, Director and Founder of Nik& Co Consultancy. 

Nicole is a proud Ngarrindjeri woman, mother, daughter, aunty, sister, and NanNan. She is working with the Chamber’s RAP working group to build a strategy that integrates genuine reconciliatory practices into our operations.

Across Australia, over 2,700 organisations have formalised their commitment to reconciliation through a Reconciliation Action Plan, based on the core pillars of relationships, respect, and opportunities. 

According to Reconciliation Australia, RAPs provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increasing economic equity and supporting First Nations self-determination.

We hope that all businesses can find a way to get involved in Reconciliation Week and stand up to defend and uphold the rights of First Nations Peoples. Businesses interested in exploring their eligibility for a RAP and finding out more should visit rec​on​cil​i​a​tion​.org​.au.

Author

Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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