At Australian Mutual Bank, we believe in the power of reconciliation and the significance of acknowledging and celebrating the culture, history, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As part of our commitment to reconciliation, Australian Mutual Bank is working with Murawin Indigenous Voice Consultancy to help deliver a series of educational workshops to our staff, to strengthen our cultural understanding and to help improve outcomes for First Australians.
The workshops aim to encourage staff to be active participants in the effort towards a more inclusive society, promoting equality, and creating real impact by helping to break cycles of disadvantage.
The first workshop from the Hands of Time Cultural Learnings series focused on the theme of Culture, Family & Community and was held on Friday 2nd June 2023 in alignment with National Reconciliation Week. The workshop was well attended by Australian Mutual Bank staff and was facilitated by Donna Ingram, a proud Wiradjuri woman and Community & Cultural Senior Consultant with Murawin. During the presentation, Donna highlighted the need for cultural understanding with discussions held on the relationships of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their cultural practices, as well as opportunities to talk about the Voice to Parliament (and the need for representation).
Donna described her presentation as giving a broad overview to help unpack what the term family means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and generously used personal stories and photos to share her experiences.
An exercise during the workshop encouraged participants to identify their own sense of belonging and identity by choosing from a selection of images. The activity encouraged people to think about ‘what makes you feel connected’ to their own sense of home and community. From this experience, Donna continued the conversation by explaining Aboriginal Kinship systems, clans, and family groups.
During the workshop discussion, inquiries were raised concerning the progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Closing the Gap National Agreement. The focus was on assessing the effectiveness of the initiatives aimed at enhancing healthcare, life expectancy, and education for First Australians. Additionally, participants made remarks regarding legislative reforms, referendums, and various governmental campaigns and political matters impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
By actively engaging in this workshop during National Reconciliation Week, Australian Mutual Bank sustains the drive for transformation while showcasing our commitment to the upcoming Reconciliation Action Plan. Our participation aligned with this year's theme, "Be a Voice for Generations," which encourages all Australians to leverage their influence, language, and actions to create a fairer Australia that benefits everyone.
The series of workshops will continue throughout the year, with the aim to increase our employees’ understanding of the purpose and significance behind cultural protocols, and to contribute towards a more inclusive future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.