Across Australia NAIDOC week is usually celebrated in July. This important event aims to recognise and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year celebrations were not held in July due to Coronavirus and were postponed to the week commencing 8th November.
In order to celebrate NAIDOC Week, Southern Cross Housing held a morning tea. The celebration commenced with CEO Alex Pontello welcoming tenants, staff and Aboriginal Elder Noel Wellington to the morning tea. Noel welcomed everyone to Country and Adrianna Burnes-Nguyen, Executive Manager, Operations spoke passionately about the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the organisation.
Adrianna said” The Shoalhaven LGA has one of the highest populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the South Coast region (more than 5,000). Of the 1700+ properties that SCH manage in the Shoalhaven, approximately 20% are occupied by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
The Southern Cross Housing RAP will assist us to create a workplace culture that understands, values and respects the histories, cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. When complete, it will contain a number of actions that will be developed collaboratively with members of our Aboriginal community to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment within Southern Cross Housing, ensure that SCH provides a culturally supportive and safe environment for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who access our services and create a culturally supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
The event also included the unveiling of a Statement of Acknowledgement by Southern Cross Housing. The statement proudly acknowledges the traditional owners, our Aboriginal communities and their rich culture. The plaque was developed by local Indigenous Artist, Troy Lenihan.
Alex Pontello, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Cross Housing said “Our Statement of Acknowledgement articulates that we, at Southern Cross Housing value Aboriginal people as the original owners and custodians of this land and waters. It is one step on the path to reconciliation and will be proudly displayed in the foyer of our office in Kinghorne Street”.
Adrianna Burnes – Nguyen – Executive Manager, Operations
PH. 1300 757 885 Ext. 119
More Photographs from SCH NAIDOC Week Celebrations –