Sunday July 8 signalled the start of NAIDOC Week 2018, a time in which SSI celebrates the past, present and future contributions of our nation’s Indigenous people and their heritage. This year’s theme was ‘Because of her, we can’, which provided a fantastic opportunity to recognise the past and current contributions of Indigenous women to Australian society.
#NaidocWeek2014 - Because of her we can
Celebrations during NAIDOC Week were found across all parts of our community. SSI has historically participated in NAIDOC week through the activities of its partners and programs but this year it increased its involvement.
It has always been a critical part of SSI's philosophy to recognise the Indigenous owners of the land in which SSI operates and settles new arrivals. It has now committed to strive beyond its current levels of Indigenous participation as part of a strategy to embrace diversity and build on SSI's reputation as an inclusive organisation servicing the needs of the people it supports and their communities.
SSI is a diverse group of people working with diverse communities, and it considers it important to continue to build an inclusive culture within the organisation and among those with whom it works.
As part of SSI's Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP), SSI has created an Indigenous Participation Plan (IPP), with the intention of increasing the number of Indigenous employees in its staff and increasing its spend with Indigenous businesses. SSI will also be improving its engagement externally with Indigenous communities and, internally, building on its understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
This NAIDOC Week SSI was proud to participate in several events of its own and with its partners. In its Ashfield, Liverpool and Parramatta offices SSI staff attended screenings of the indigenous feature film Occupation Native, which was promoted as part of NAIDOC Week 2018.
Almost 200 people attended SSI's NAIDOC celebrations at the Auburn Friendship Garden and Community Kitchen. SSI brought people from all walks of life, newly arrived to established community members, to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and practices. Explore the Facebook gallery of photos.
Most people were not at first familiar with NAIDOC but everyone left with a better understanding and established positive connections throughout the day.
SSI Community Engagement Practitioner Diana Nguyen expressed thanks to Kinchella Boys Home for their support and for bringing the Uncles, Community Greenings for delivering a Native Food Talk, Mt Druitt Indigenous Choir, Bunnings for providing a free pot painting workshop and giveaways, the Community Engagement Team at NDIA, Max Employment, GWS Giants, and Cumberland Council Children’s Services.