It's been an eventful and empowering NAIDOC Week, with Red Cross people hosting and joining in events around the country to honour First Nations peoples.
Friday July 10, 2015
The week was all about celebrating and paying respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea, a theme played out at sites around the country.
A highlight for Red Cross was the unveiling of our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), setting out a wide-ranging set of goals and targets to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The plan aspires to raise employment levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff at Red Cross from the current 6.3 per cent to 9 per cent. Red Cross President Michael Legge said the organisation builds on the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by empowering individuals to have a voice and communities to take better control of their own lives and environments.
"We stand with and support individuals, families and communities as they drive and lead their own solutions," he said.
At sites around Australia, Red Cross staged flag raising ceremonies, Elder talks, Yarning Circles, a book club with an Aboriginal author, morning teas and barbeques.
The winners of Red Cross' inaugural NAIDOC Honours received tickets to the annual NAIDOC Ball, this year staged in Adelaide.
The Honours winners were recognised for their dedication, passion and excellent service in the community.
Winners were staff members Dawn Gilchrist, Dorothy Yungirrna Bukulatjpi, Janelle Evans, Kerry Klimm, Jimmy Kyle, Alma Major and volunteer James Gordon.
Another highlight of the week was the historic roll-out of signs at all 350 Red Cross sites around the country, acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which they are based.
Throughout the week Red Cross received national media coverage of our work empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.
An ABC Radio National piece highlighted the improvements on the ground in the central Queensland Woorabinda Aboriginal community in the 10 years Red Cross has been active there.
A Guardian Australia opinion piece by Red Cross Workforce Engagement Manager Nicole Jenkins described why it was important to set Indigenous employment targets. Nicole also reveals her own path to success as a Kamilaroi woman whose life was transformed as a result of her first job in a from a small town in New South Wales.