Happy NAIDOC – celebration, respect, connection
Hi everyone, it’s me again. Been a while since my last blog so as it is NAIDOC Week, the timing is perfect to reach out and share what’s been happening here at Telstra around Indigenous employment, and some other things too.
For me, NAIDOC is a special time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture – and I take this opportunity to pay my respects to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra employees & persons across Australia. NAIDOC has grown into an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year NAIDOC week is celebrated from the 1st – 8th of July, and as we are in the middle of the week, you might have already seen Telstra’s NAIDOC message on digital displays in all our stores.
The sign reads –
“Telstra acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, their ancestors and elders – and is committed to reconciliation among all Australians”
In a first for Telstra, today we began formal recognition of the Traditional Owners of the land and Country on which our stores are located, by commencing the installation of signs of acknowledgment in every Telstra-branded Store and Business Centre across Australia. The Acknowledgement decals feature our original Indigenous artwork developed for our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2010 by Riki Salam of Gilimbaa, and reflecting the theme of Connection in the context of Respect, Relationships and Opportunities. This makes us very proud. More information on today’s launch is in on the Telstra Media Centre website.
Other exciting news is that I’ve recently connected with and welcomed 4 new Indigenous employees to our Telstra Indigenous Employees’ Network. I’ve met Samuel and Michael, new Installer Repairers in Toormina NSW, Stewart, who works in Telstra Business in Sydney & Leon, a new Customer Service Consultant in Canberra ACT. I get great joy to always connect with our new Indigenous employees and look forward to working with each and every one of them in the future.
I’d also like to celebrate and acknowledge the launch of our very own Indigenous Cultural Appreciation course in Telstra on 2 July. This unique course has been developed entirely with the cultural knowledge of Indigenous employees at Telstra, featuring a timeline from the Dreaming until now, the stories and heritage of some Indigenous employees at Telstra, detail on our RAP and advice on intercultural understanding and inclusion. A special thanks to our colleagues in Telstra Learning and our supplier partners for assisting with this amazing program.
I’ve also been connecting with Indigenous colleagues and community members since my last blog too. I attended a get-together of the Indigenous Corporate Network, convened by the Diversity Council Australia and chaired by Lauren Ganley from Telstra and Phil Lockyer from Commonwealth Bank. Also, I was lucky enough to host community focus groups with local Indigenous community members in Townsville, Brisbane, Geelong, Darwin and Western Sydney to hear directly from the mob about Indigenous employment. We’re working on a better way to connect with Indigenous job seekers and work towards improving employment outcomes for more Indigenous people at Telstra.
It’s been a busy few months!
Look forward to blogging again soon – until next time, take care.