It’s been a privilege to participate in Australia’s National Reconciliation Week and reflect on this year’s theme More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.
Across our operations, we’ve celebrated culture, listened, learned, and shared how we can all contribute to reconciliation through our everyday decisions and actions. Here’s a summary of some of the ways our sites and offices celebrated and honoured reconciliation.
National online panel discussion
Teammates from across Australia dialled into a dynamic online panel discussion on the topic of Impactful Action, What It Really Means. The panel featured a broad cross section of our stakeholder groups from employees, managers through to industry organisations, community partners, Traditional Owners, and Indigenous suppliers.
The key theme through the panel discussions was the importance of open and honest communication to drive the actions and outcomes that will lead to meaningful and sustainable reconciliation within our business and across our communities.
Gabrielle Iwanow, General Manager, Prominent Hill Oz Minerals said “It’s about how we hard wire value for stakeholder groups into the way do we do business. Include it in business planning. Set clear targets and clear deliverables in employment and business development.”
Walk for Reconciliation and breakfast
The Perth and Hazelmere teams participated in the annual Walk for Reconciliation through key sites of significance from the WA Museum Boola Bardip progressing through the cultural centre and finishing at Yagan Square. The walk is a public demonstration of leadership, support, and solidarity with the Reconciliation movement.
Our Perth leadership team also attend the annual Reconciliation Western Australia’s Reconciliation Breakfast. The breakfast brings together leaders and allies across WA’s government, community, and corporate sectors to champion change in the Reconciliation movement. Members of the Thiess leadership team were delighted to host some our key Aboriginal stakeholders and clients at the event.
Rowena Leslie, Chair of the Goldfields Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce said: “It is very encouraging to see the number of leaders from across our state attend and show their willingness to support change and work together with the Aboriginal community - especially in regional WA.”
Polly Farmer Foundation fundraiser
The Mount Arthur team busily raised funds to support the Polly Farmer Foundation’s community programs in Muswellbrook. The team bought tickets in a raffle to win a 50CC dirt motorbike valued at $2,500. The Foundation delivers after-school academic enrichment programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across the country, including Muswellbrook High School.
QRC Indigenous Awards celebration
Thiess nominees and reps attended the QRC Indigenous Awards celebration where the 2020 nominee, finalist and winners were celebrated. The awards celebrate the outstanding contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland resources sector and recognise companies with leading practices indigenous participation initiatives.
Making cultural awareness personal
Tyre Fitter, RAP Working Group member, Colin Grey, opened National Reconciliation Week for his crew by conducting an acknowledgement of country. Colin shared information around the dates for the week and why they are significant and talked what reconciliation means to him. Colin shared his personal experiences and family history which was both emotional and empowering. Colin’s crew were extremely receptive, respectful, and open.
Our QCoal team also completed a daily questionnaire/quiz with all personnel across site. The questions were based on learning available in Thiess’ Cultural Awareness Training module and from the National Reconciliation Week website.
Walking tour & art show
Members from the QCoal HSET team attended a walking art tour through Brisbane for National Reconciliation Week. They were joined by curators of the Indigenous Art Program to learn about artworks that celebrate Brisbane’s internationally renowned Aboriginal artists.
Toolboxes, tucker and talking
Our teams across our sites participated in special reconciliation toolboxes and morning teas, taking advantage of time spent together to talk about reconciliation, why it is important and how are can each consider and speak up for reconciliation in our decisions and actions every day.