Melbourne Water nurtures deep connection to Traditional Owners
As we reflect on National Reconciliation Week (May 27-June 3), Melbourne Water is proud to share our commitment to supporting a diverse and inclusive organisation and respecting Indigenous culture and knowledge.
Our path toward reconciliation officially began with our first Cultural Heritage Strategy 14 years ago. We have come a long way in that time, and it has been an important journey embraced throughout all parts of our business.
First and foremost, Melbourne Water recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have connections to the land and waterways that are inseparable from their lives and liveability. We are deeply respectful of this and are committed to working closely with Traditional Owners as we carry out our role to manage and protect Melbourne’s catchments and waterways.
Earlier this month, members of our team were delighted to meet with the leaders of the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) at the Thomson Reservoir. They walked Country together, talked and listened. This was an enlightening experience as we move towards a formal partnership agreement to work together on agreed priorities for waterways in the region. Building such relationships is a key focus in Melbourne Water’s Reconciliation journey.
Internally, we provide cultural awareness training to all employees, recognising the power of knowledge and understanding in creating a culturally safe workplace.
We are excited to deliver hands-on opportunities wherever possible to enrich our inclusive identity, including two recent volunteer days on culturally significant sites - Coranderrk on Wurundjeri Country and Bostock on Wadawurrung country. Almost 300 employees enjoyed the events, which encouraged learning and connection. It also provided much valued support in people power and resources for smaller community organisations.
Melbourne Water is also proud of its partnership with Aboriginal-owned civil construction business Wara Paring, which has the potential to create further job opportunities for Indigenous young people across the water sector.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2022 is “Be Brave. Make change.” At Melbourne Water, we continue to move forward and will embrace this theme in all we do.
Artwork: ‘Barajoot ba gowroon tyanak’ Artist: Alice Pepper © 2022. This piece was created as part of the development of Melbourne Water's formal partnership agreement with GLaWAC.
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