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AUSTRALIA’S maritime community is celebrating NAIDOC Week through efforts to foster reconciliation and support for Indigenous communities.

Each year, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week 2022 runs from 3 July to 10 July, this year’s theme of “Get up! Stand up! Show up!” encouraging systemic change.

“Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism — we must do it together,” the National NAIDOC Committee said on its website.

The committee emphasised the need to move beyond “just acknowledgement, good intentions, empty words and promises and hollow commitments”.

“It must be a genuine commitment by all of us to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative, and co-operative reforms.”

Reconciliation action at AMSA

In light of this year’s message, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority announced the launch of its first Reconciliation Action Plan. 

AMSA was in the process of developing its RAP in late May, coinciding with National Reconciliation Week, to promote participation and opportunities for First Nations Australians.

AMSA said the launch of the RAP is an important step forward in the agency’s diversity and inclusion work, which all employees will have the opportunity to be a part of.

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It described the new RAP as a map of how AMSA intends to create opportunities for First Nations peoples and an inclusive agency for all Australians.

“We recognise that caring for Country includes the marine environment,” AMSA said.

“Our vision of safe and clean seas aligns with the important roles that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples already undertake in caring for our sea, coasts and air.

“AMSA is ‘getting up, standing up and showing up’ in relation to protecting marine Country.”

The RAP document, accessible on AMSA’s website, features an acknowledgement of Country; artwork by Aboriginal artist Michael Connolly titled Search and Rescue; and a detailed approach to fostering relationships, respect and opportunities for Indigenous Australians. 

DP World supports young Indigenous women

And DP World has announced a partnership with Stars Foundation, an organisation which provides mentoring and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women.

Stars Foundation offers an engagement program for Indigenous girls with the goal of promoting positive education, employment and life outcomes.

DP World said it partnered with Stars Foundation to support a meaningful cause that will not only benefit individuals, but also future generations and Indigenous communities.

The new initiative is expected to build on DP World’s long-standing partnership with Quandamooka Jarjums, supporting Indigenous students in the Brisbane community through a unique cultural education program.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Indigenous community further and with Stars Foundation through this impactful mentoring engagement program,” DP World said.

Stars Foundation founder Andrea Goddard said the foundation is proud of its work to make a tangible difference in the lives of First Nations girls and young women across Australia.

“The holistic, culturally safe support we provide results in exceptional outcomes, empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls,” Ms Goddard said.

“Support from the corporate sector, with partners like DP World enable us to do this important work and we are very grateful for the support.”

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