PORTS and maritime industry operators around the country celebrated National Reconciliation Week from 27 May-3 June 2021.

Gladstone Ports Corporation highlighted the importance of its strong relationships with local Indigenous communities, with a morning tea held across three GPC sites.

This year’s theme was More than a Word, with the event marking 21 years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process.

GPC’s executive general manager Rowen Winsor said it was humbling to know that GPC is one of the many Queensland organisations making real change in reconciliation.

“Throughout our 107‐year journey, GPC has become an integral part of its communities, working alongside the Byellee, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda peoples,” Ms Winsor said. 

“In the last decade we have achieved so much, from launching our successful Australian‐first Cross Industry Operations Traineeship and welcoming the fourth group on board this year to supporting future leaders with our bursary program.

“We have even named our assets with traditional language throughout our community.

“Our vision for reconciliation is to ensure equality, equity and unity, where culture and heritage is recognised, respected and celebrated as a part of our shared national identity,” she said.

In March, GPC unveiled a large mural commissioned by two Indigenous artists at its East Shores parklands.

Svitzer Australia took the opportunity of National Reconciliation Week to outline how it seeks to take more impactful action through new initiatives. These include engaging external support from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation to assist in the development of an Indigenous Engagement Strategy.

The company will also add an Acknowledgement of Country to the Svitzer Australia website – a simple but important initiative. It will also introduce Cultural Leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to enable the attendance of ceremonies.

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More than 100 people attended the Port of Brisbane’s National Reconciliation Week event, recognising Australia’s Indigenous culture and reconciliation journey.

The port-wide event included the launch of PBPL’s first Reconciliation Action Plan, which has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

Renowned Quandamooka artist, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, also presented her original artwork Journey through the bay to the river, 2020 – a representation of the journey from the southern part of Quandamooka waters to the mouth of the Brisbane River.  The artwork was created especially for the Reconciliation Action Plan.

PBPL CEO, Roy Cummins said, “The launch of PBPL’s Reconciliation Action Plan is arguably the most important step in our long and proud history of actively supporting the community in which we operate.

“Ours is a Reflect RAP – which is the first of four stages of Reconciliation Australia’s formal RAP Program – and we have committed to completing all four stages by 2030.”

Meanwhile, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has become the first ever Queensland port authority to be recognised as winners in the Business Category of the Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

The port authority for the North Queensland ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point, Mackay and Weipa, received recognition for its commitment to meaningful action on reconciliation.

NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said, “The key driver for a RAP was to formalise NQBP’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into positive and measurable actions, building higher levels of trust, and increased pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures”.

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