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29 May 2023


From the CEO: Working to realise makaratta during Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Australia has compiled a list of practical steps we can all take to create change. Click here for information on how you can be a voice for listening, unity, fairness and more.

At SSI, we’re on a journey of reconciliation to ensure we are doing everything within our power to contribute towards realising makarrata – a Yolngu word that means coming together after a conflict.

SSI’s Reconciliation Action Plan has mechanisms for improving our practices, ways of working and engaging with First Nations staff, clients and communities in which we operate.

These have ranged from building more effective community relationships to implementing practices within programs that incorporate lessons on First Nations history and rituals, to taking a public position acknowledging the dual nature of January 26.

We are almost at the two year mark and will soon prepare for a review with Reconciliation Australia, before developing our next two year RAP. We continue to learn valuable lessons the deeper we dive into our actions.

We have learnt that engaging and building relationships with First Nations people – be it staff or external communities, takes much time and many, many cups of tea. In Queensland, for example, our staff have made considerable efforts the last couple of years to consult with and develop a relationship with community elders in one region, working to listen, understand and immerse themselves into community, before creating a dialogue. These efforts are ongoing and the team learn more and more about the community, through each engagement opportunity.

At SSI, there is a genuine appetite and desire to support the RAP and reconciliation efforts across the business. Staff have come forward to contribute in many different forms.

Just recently, we formed a Voice to Parliament working group that was initiated by two staff members. This initiative has grown legs and will see SSI out in CALD communities, conducting forums aimed at educating and assisting people to make an informed decisions when it comes time to vote at the referendum.

There are many different ways to progress reconciliation. Whatever path you chose, I encourage you to take some time this week to reflect on steps you can take to realise makarrata.

For more information, visit the Reconciliation Week website, or click here to read SSI’s RAP.

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