Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 15, 2022


National Reconciliation Week

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council about the Property Council's Reconciliation Week breakfast?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has the call.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:36): I feel that Reconciliation Week is an important week on our national calendar and, as the chamber is aware, it ran from 27 May to 3 June. This year's theme for National Reconciliation Week was Be Brave, Make Change, and that is exactly what was on display at the Property Council's Reconciliation Week breakfast, where I had the privilege of speaking on 2 June, on budget day in the last sitting week. Uncle Mickey O'Brien welcomed everyone in attendance to country and gave all of us occasion to reflect on how far we have come in the celebration by non-Aboriginal Australians of Aboriginal culture.

Many of the organisations represented at this Reconciliation Week breakfast, including event partners Sarah Constructions, Renewal SA and KONE, had developed reconciliation action plans. Since 2006, reconciliation action plans (RAPs) have enabled organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. There are four reconciliation action plan types—reflect, innovate, stretch and elevate—that allow organisations to continuously develop their reconciliation commitments. Based around the core pillars of relationships, respect and opportunities, RAPs give organisations a framework to contribute to the reconciliation movement. Reconciliation action plans deliver tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal people and increase cultural safety in the workplace.

This year was the Property Council's first Reconciliation Week breakfast, and it was great to see so many business leaders, industry leaders, government and non-government, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, coming together to mark how far we have come but, just as importantly, how far we have to go. We know that industry groups like the Property Council's group and their members have many opportunities to further the work of reconciliation by the way they go about their businesses, whether it is committing to a reconciliation action plan, making a conscious effort to recruit Aboriginal employees or engaging with Aboriginal businesses in contracts and procurement.

The work of reconciliation requires many to get involved: individuals, governments, parliaments, community organisations and businesses alike. That's why I was pleased to see the Property Council proactively engaging through the hosting of this event. There was an opportunity to hear from the reconciliation experience of panellists, including football legend Shaun Burgoyne, Chris Menz (Chief Executive of Renewal SA), Joseph Fuschtei and Belinda Wood of Sarah Constructions, and Janette Pearce of KONE. I thank them all for their time and for sharing their experiences, and I commend those who were involved in this particular reconciliation breakfast.