What a whirlwind few weeks for our annual Reconciliation Series with the Property Council Australia, now in its second year.
Across four states in two months we held breakfasts, lunches, and cocktail events; spotlighting a panel of state-based industry experts. The truth telling and insight brought to the table across the board was instrumental in starting conversations that can facilitate change and provide tangible takeaways for championing reconciliation in the workplace and in our personal lives.
The theme for this year’s events were the four pillars that underline all Reconciliation Actions Plans (RAPs). These pillars: relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance, provide an excellent framework not just for RAPs but all reconciliation activity.
Our Co-Owner, John Paul Janke, spoke to the respect pillar in each state, passionately sharing evidence that we are missing a giant piece of our history with stories of Indigenous culture, knowledge, and most importantly heroes and leaders absent from our classrooms. This black hole in our history may be a fundamental reason behind a lack of respect for Indigenous culture in our society.
The Series kicked off with a cocktail event in Canberra. Panellists David Maxwell, Managing Director of Riverview Group; Jessica Bulger, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute; and Dr. Tjanara Goreng Goreng PHD, former Senate candidate, joined John Janke to give a short speech on the pillars of a RAP, with a Q&A discussion at the end.
The highlight of the night was the Songlines from Australia’s First Peoples in a spectacular immersive experience by Grande Experiences. Using 360-degree, large-scale projections we got to experience artworks from over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are transformed into one powerfully rich story of culture and Country.
The second event was held at the new Lendlease offices in Barangaroo, Sydney. The lunch event saw over 100 people join us in our discussion of reconciliation.
A huge thank you to our panellists for this event, City of Sydney councillor, Yvonne Weldon; previous Deputy CEO of Supply Nation and current Director of Two Point Co, Jason Timor and Assistant Development Manager at Lendlease, Taylor Paynter. Joined by John Janke these four Indigenous panellists really helped to shine a light on what we can do to counteract our own bias and foster reconciliation in and outside of the workplace.
Our Brisbane event followed, with another successful lunch at the Hilton Hotel.
Rork Projects Co-Owner John Paul Janke was this time joined by Alex Hanlon, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Queensland; Joseph Wallace, Managing Director of Multhana Property Services; and Bruce Davidson, Chairman of Yalari and discussed our your business can join more than 1100 other organisations that have commenced a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) journey celebrating and embracing the oldest living culture on earth.
Finally, after holding a virtual event last year due to COVID lockdowns, our Melbourne Event really made up for it this year with over 130 people in attendance – our biggest event of the year!
Panellists Rikki Cooper, National Indigenous Engagement Manager at BGIS and Jason Mifsud, the Head of First Nations Affairs and Enterprises at Wesfarmers were incredible, with discussions highlighting the unfinished tapestry of history that is the Australian culture. These gaps, filled through storytelling and knowledge sharing from our First Nations People, are a vital part in the reconciliation process.
We are also excited to report that the Property Council of Australia has made a donation of $3,960 to the Wa Initiative, with $10 for every ticket sold committed to Rork Projects’ foundation for Indigenous education. These funds will not only help support Nevaeh (through Yalari) but will also support other education initiatives in each of the states.
It was truly humbling to see so many businesses and co-workers coming out to learn about the path to Reconciliation and the steps that we can all take on this road together. We hope that you will join us again next year to continue to carve this path we are all walking towards reconciliation.