Much of the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia continues because we don’t know each other. Reconciliation week is about bridging that divide and moving forward together. Use this opportunity to attend Reconciliation events, meet local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and get to know them – what can you learn about their perspectives, aspirations, needs?
3. Where possible, buy from Indigenous businesses
Supporting Indigenous businesses creates immense social value. A Supply Nation study showed that for every dollar of revenue, Indigenous businesses create $4.41 of economic and social value. Supporting Indigenous business put economic self-determination into the hands of Indigenous people and communities – as well as supplying you with great value.
4. Mentor and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members may face different challenges in your workplace to non-Indigenous staff. Is your workplace culturally safe? What kinds of support do they need? Talk to your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff about their perspectives of the workplace, and find out how you can best provide support.
5. Don’t assume
There were over 250 Aboriginal Languages in Australia, and only 145 are estimated to remain. It is essential that no assumptions are made on engaging with Aboriginal people. Customs, protocols, language and traditions are distinctly unique from one tribe to another, so be open minded and respectful in seeking to understand the differences, in order to show respect and appreciation.