Aurion Celebrates NAIDOC Week

To celebrate NAIDOC Week in 2020 the Aurion team had the opportunity to explore the history, culture and achievements of indigenous Australian peoples and contribute their own personal stories to the discussion.

Aurion recognises that Australia’s First Nations have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years and saw NAIDOC Week 8-15 November as an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The theme of NAIDOC Week in 2020 is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’: acknowledging and celebrating that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact and inviting all Australians to embrace the true history of this country.

NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to for our team members to participate in a range of activities and learn more about indigenous Australian history, culture and aspirations.

We’ve created a dedicated intranet page offers a fascinating selection of thought-provoking facts about Indigenous Australia and a collection indigenous made and/or themed documentaries, movies and shorts available online. Emails through the week encourage everyone to consider attending one of the NAIDOC Week exhibitions and events happening around the country, in-person or online.

A personal journey of recognition
Aurion’s Joy Richardson is a founding member of our Reconciliation Action Plan working group, and for NAIDOC Week Joy shared a fascinating story of personal development, as she undertook a ‘do over’ of her year 12 research paper on the topic of “Changing the Australian Flag“.

Joy went from believing that the Australian Flag should not be changed, as that would disrespect everything Australian soldiers, like Joy’s grandfather, had fought so hard for, to feeling that the flag should not be changed to try to represent Australia as a whole, because “Until our country and more broadly the world recognises true equality, inclusion and acknowledges the heritage of our land and country, we are not representative as one country, nor in unity.”

The fact that Remembrance Day occurred during NAIDOC Week this year makes Joy’s desire to see respect given to all Australians who have achieved something for their country – whether soldiers or people from our First Nations – all the more poignant and timely.

Reconciliation in Action
When the Chandler Macleod Group released their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2018, Aurion team members set up their own RAP working group to support the agreed strategy recognised by Reconciliation Australia for reducing the gap in living standards between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

The Aurion RAP working group seeks to raise awareness of Indigenous history and contemporary issues through regular newsletters and events, and engage with Indigenous organisations and individuals on Aurion’s behalf to help build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.

Visit the CMG website to see the Chandler Macleod Group Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2020

‘Anwekety’: Bush Plum Dreaming in Utopia
Bush Plum Dreaming by Gracie Morton Pwerle, which graces the foyer of our Toowong office is a certified genuine and original Australian Aboriginal artwork.

Bush Plum Dreaming by Gracie Morton Pwerle

Gracie Morton Pwerle is a senior Alyawarre woman, from a family of notable artists from the Utopia community located north-east of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Utopian art is celebrated as some of the most stylistically diverse, colourful and exciting Aboriginal art in Australia.

‘Anwekety’ or Bush Plum Dreaming is a totem Gracie inherited from her father and aunties. Ceremonies are performed to celebrate the importance of the bush plum and to promote the plant’s growth. In the Utopian ‘Jukurrpa’ or dreaming, the bush plum seeds were blown across the ancestral lands by strong winds before eventually blossoming into fruit.

In her art, Gracie skilfully captures the idea of being close to the ground and physically traversing specific sites or regions, while also representing the land as if from an aerial vantage point.

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We would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, past, present and emerging, whose land we stand upon today.