GEELONGPORT has taken a major step forward in its reconciliation journey by launching the organisation’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in partnership with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.
Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, GeelongPort’s Reflect RAP will deliver meaningful activity that will contribute to the organisation’s reconciliation vision of a unified community that deeply understands, values and appreciates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and connection to Country.
To celebrate the historic milestone, GeelongPort staff were joined by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles who conducted a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony outside GeelongPort head office, overlooking Corio Bay.
Alongside the launch of the RAP, GeelongPort also unveiled an incredible piece of artwork completed for GeelongPort by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner artist, BJ O’Toole. The artwork will feature throughout the RAP document and will be on display in the GeelongPort boardroom for many years to come.
GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter said, “The launch of GeelongPort’s inaugural Reconciliation Action plan is a momentous occasion for our organisation – this plan signals GeelongPort’s formal commitment to Australia’s reconciliation journey and provides us with a framework to turn our best intentions into tangible outcomes.
“Everyone at GeelongPort looks forward to listening, sharing and working together with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners on the implementation of this plan over the next 12 months and beyond.”
Ms Eccles acknowledged GeelongPort’s commitment to reconciliation through the launch of the RAP.
“Wadawurrung people are committed to working in collaboration with GeelongPort to ensure that our cultural heritage and values are protected, conserved and that Wadawurrung People and Country are respected,” she said.
“I acknowledge GeelongPort for their commitment to a Reconciliation Action Plan and partnering together with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on this journey.”
GeelongPort has already established a Reconciliation Working Group and more than 50% of staff having completed cultural education sessions with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, with that figure set to reach 90% by year’s end.