RUGBY league champion Johnathan Thurston is leading the call for individuals, businesses and organisations across the state striving for effective change and reconciliation to nominate for the 2018 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
The awards program is open to businesses, community organisations, educational institutions, government departments, agencies and local councils in Queensland that are supporting Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous individuals and advancing reconciliation.
Mununjali manager Brad Currie said Scenic Rim businesses and organisations that create a reconciliation action plan in a true spirit of understanding would be worthy award recipients.
“Rather than just being a compliance measure to access funds, a reconciliation action plan should reach further than top management to all employees to be a true testament that the organisation has really grasped what reconciliation means,” he said.
“Reconciliation is a two-way street requiring an understanding of both cultures and a willingness to find a space where we can work together.”
Mr Currie said the action plan compiled by the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) was a good example of something that would be useful across local government and business sectors.
“I was part of the working party for GOLDOC and it was a fantastic process,” he said.
Mr Currie said Jymbilung house in Beaudesert was another example of reconciliation in action.
“Jymbilung is indigenous-focussed but our aged care facility is mainstream and we have non-Indigenous residents too.”
The 2018 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador Johnathan Thurston, who has returned for his sixth year as Ambassador, said he is encouraging people to nominate those who are actively promoting reconciliation in every region of Queensland.
“I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to develop respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, to support reconciliation and create a community where all cultures are valued, respected and affirmed across all areas of society,” Mr Thurston said.
The awards program offers a total prize pool of $25,000 across five categories including business, community, education, partnership and an overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award.
In 2017, the Queensland Reconciliation Awards celebrated a variety of initiatives, including programs that increased training and employment opportunities for Indigenous employees; social benefit programs for young people that aimed to improve behaviour and increase school attendance with the help of role models; and grassroots reconciliation through sport for young Indigenous women.
Nominations for the 2018 awards close at 5pm on February 26.
For more information or to nominate online, visit qld.gov.au/reconciliation.