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2019 winners and finalists

Business

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Australian BlackCard is an Aboriginal-owned business established in 2013 that provides cultural capability training, consultancy services and cultural tours to enable people and organisations to work effectively with members of the Aboriginal community.

The content of BlackCard’s cultural capability program contributes to the campaign against racism and discrimination, as well as facilitating and supporting mutually respectful and engaging relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders.

Australian BlackCard operates with the authority of Elders, and its programs are informed and guided by Aboriginal terms of reference and are based on the knowledge Aboriginal people have accumulated, developed and practised over many thousands of years.

Torres Strait Heritage Pty Ltd is a Torres Strait family-run business, established in 2008. The business is heavily involved in tourism in the region, developing the ‘In Their Steps’ World War 2 tour of Horn Island and Torres Strait Heritage Museum to educate guests about the service of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and women in Torres Strait.

Since receiving the Reconciliation Award for Business and the Premier’s Award in 2008, Torres Strait Heritage has continued to start new initiatives, expand its business and make enormous contributions to the Torres Strait and wider community.

The Beyond the Broncos Girls Academy values the vital role young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play in influencing the next generation. Through this program, Indigenous female high school students are provided with culturally-based support to overcome any barriers they may face at school, thus paving the way for optimal educational outcomes.

Commencing in 2016, the Girls Academy supported more than 700 students in the most recent school semester, providing personalised mentoring, academic tutoring, access to group workshops and more. This has led to program participants achieving school attendance results that far exceed the Queensland Indigenous state average.

My Pathway is realising its vision of defining future communities by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners and leaders to rightfully take control of their communities and affairs. The formation of seven joint ventures across seven Community Development Programme (CDP) regions demonstrates its commitment and reflects the organisation’s dedication to reconciliation.

These collaborations have combined local Indigenous ownership, control and voice with My Pathway’s effective systems and proven CDP performance, ensuring quality, locally-focussed CDP services, activities, projects and outcomes for local Indigenous people in each CDP region.

Community

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Yarrabah Band Festival was established in 2013 to showcase the Yarrabah Brass Band. Since then, the event has grown in size and profile, attracting thousands of visitors from outside the region, featuring high profile national headliners and providing career pathways for the region’s musicians.

Attracting visitors to the relatively isolated community achieves a number of important outcomes including fostering cross-cultural collaboration and relationships, breaking down perceived barriers to engage with Indigenous communities, creating a positive profile that focuses on the strengths of the community rather than just the challenges, generating economic impact for local businesses, and providing career pathways for the region's musicians.

The centenary of the first forced placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Palm Island was commemorated in 2018. To mark the occasion, the Palm Island community, with the support of the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, invited locals and visitors to ‘Share our Journey’ in seven events conducted across the year as part of the Palm Island Centenary Events.

The events provided an opportunity to share the history, stories and heritage of more than 40 tribes that now call Palm Island home with the broader Australian community. The events brought people together, building a better understanding of the myths that surround Palm Island and debunking preconceived ideas and stereotypes. The sharing of their stories has, in many ways, assisted the Palm Island community to progress its ongoing reconciliation journey.

Kalwun Early Learning Program is a stand-alone care service operating out of Burleigh Heads and in Currumbin Primary School on the Gold Coast. The program provides an intensive preschool program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to ensure children have the best chance to succeed in the primary school education system. The specially designed program incorporates strong elements of community and culture.

Since opening its doors in 2016, more than 50 children have been supported by the program, which not only assists children but also prepares parents and caregivers for the journey ahead.

QTIC’s Indigenous Champions Network was established in 2005 as the first project of its kind in Queensland and Australia. This voluntary statewide network’s role is to promote Indigenous career opportunities in the tourism industry through peer mentoring, relationship-building, and encouraging and supporting development of Indigenous businesses.

Initially, the network commenced as a group of volunteer operators that wanted to collectively drive capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous individuals and businesses. Now the focus is supporting a thriving Indigenous tourism sector, engaging Indigenous employees in the tourism industry and creating a united voice.

Education

In 2013, local Indigenous families joined with staff at Bald Hills State School to create the Turrwan Circle. Now in its seventh year and with an excellence and empowerment agenda, the Turrwan Circle has enabled the reconciliation process to advance in the community.

Primary to the group’s vision was supporting the students and their families to form a strong collective identity. From the outset, the group prioritised the redefining of the school as a culturally-safe space where the Indigeneity of students and their families is centred and valued. By co-constructing this identity, space and philosophy, the group built a strong platform for the teaching and learning of its students.

Turrwan Circle has established strong traditions and programs that include the Turrwan Circle Reading program, Year 6 Graduating Boomerang ceremony, Kindy Reading program and NAIDOC week celebrations, and 2019 has seen the completion of their Turrbal Yarning Circle and Totem Poles. These experiences have provided a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families to become a valued and respected part of the Bald Hills State School community.

Since 2005, Heatley State School has been on the path to reconciliation with a whole-of-school approach. The power of relationships and recognition of difference as a strength are integral to the school's core values, mission statement and vision.

All staff have learnt about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, histories and languages, and teachers ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures are embedded and taught throughout the whole school curriculum. All students participate in reconciliation and NAIDOC celebrations in the school which improves their knowledge and often significantly changes their relationships. Over the past 15 years, Heatley State School has seen a positive increase of engagement, achievement and success of all of its students, especially its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Eidsvold P–12 State School has been developing and delivering the Wakka Wakka language reclamation program since 2016. Starting with a bank of only 10 words, the program has grown to more than 200 words, phrases and sentences. Students are beginning to put basic sentences, commands and answers together using the language, and books, songs and dances have been created.

The language program has continued to grow rapidly since its inception. During this time the school has set up a languages reference group, hired a linguist to quality assure and maintain integrity within the program and employed two Wakka Wakka teacher aides to continue to sustain and assist with the program. The school is continuing to see a huge cultural shift because of the connection students and teachers are forming with the language.

Kelvin Grove State College (KGSC) is raising awareness of Indigenous people and their history through cultural educational programs, embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum across Prep to Year 12.

In 2019, the college implemented the rebranding of its college sporting totem and four sports houses with refreshed identities, and a complete narrative connecting the college and houses to the history of the local area. The rebranding of the sporting totem and sports houses is a whole-of-college co-creative and collaborative project linking the school to its local Indigenous and European history.

The history around its restorative and reconciliation initiative includes the inclusive community support of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, artists, storytellers, performers, parents, carers and businesses. Through these programs KGSC is working to empower its community to foster reconciliation and create positive change.

Partnership

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In mid-2017, Kuku Yalanji Elders and Mossman State School (MSS) staff met to explore the idea of teaching Kuku Yalanji language in the school. Over the next 18 months this collaborative partnership undertook a journey of truth telling, listening and responding, resulting in the co-development of a formally documented language agreement between MSS and Kuku Yalanji people.

The Kuku Yalanji language initiative explicitly prioritises consultation with and direction from the Kuku Yalanji community for the purpose of building respectful relationships between school and community and for the teaching of Kuku Yalanji language at MSS.

This initiative has provided a genuine place for truth telling and acknowledgement of past wrongs, an opportunity for Kuku Yalanji students to stand taller, a pathway for understanding, valuing and celebration of Kuku Yalanji culture, and an ongoing voice to the school through the formalised Kuku Yalanji Language Advisory Group.

Metro North Hospital and Health Service established a partnership with Brisbane North West Trade Training Centre, Mater Education and OSMAC group training organisation to inspire, educate, engage and motivate Indigenous students through a culturally-supported education journey into their dream health career through a school based traineeship in nursing, allied health and dental.

In January 2019, 34 Deadly Start trainees commenced their traineeships. This was the largest collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students recruited into health-based education to employment pathways. Over a 14-month period, students received wrap-around support while they gained practical skills and a Certificate III qualification in either nursing, allied health or dental.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) Bespoke Indigenous Artwork ‘Look to the Stars’ Engagement Strategy established a statewide vision and narrative of the fundamental and critical role trust and connection play in relationships and reconciliations.

To successfully create a meaningful and engaging artwork, QPS partnered with Gilimbaa creative agency and together with key Indigenous stakeholders facilitated in-depth discussions, capturing the QPS storyline and ensuring cultural appropriateness to complement the engagement and reconciliation processes.

The ‘Look to the Stars’ Engagement Strategy demonstrates the cultural importance QPS places on partnerships with Indigenous communities and was a watershed moment, being the first time QPS has taken a unified approach to use an art piece to break down barriers and build relationships across not just Indigenous communities but all the diverse cultures living in Queensland.

Following the success of its Jingeri Jingeri project, Tamborine Mountain State School initiated the Jingeri Jimbelung project in 2017 to further address and embed reconciliation within the school and the broader community. Jingeri Jimbelung’s aim was to introduce the wider Tamborine Mountain community to Yugambeh language and invite them to be part of a continuing reconciliation and cultural competency journey.

The project involved students and staff visiting more than 80 businesses with posters and information about local Indigenous language and culture. Large banners and bumper stickers were produced and local media publicised the project. Meaningful partnerships were developed with Wangerriburra Elders and Traditional Owners, Indigenous parents and community members, Tamborine Mountain Learning Academy, Tamborine Mountain State High School, Tamborine Mountain Chamber of Commerce, Scenic Rim Regional Council and many others to promote Yugambeh Language and reconciliation far beyond the classrooms of the school.

Premier’s Reconciliation Award

In mid-2017, Kuku Yalanji Elders and Mossman State School (MSS) staff met to explore the idea of teaching Kuku Yalanji language in the school. Over the next 18 months this collaborative partnership undertook a journey of truth telling, listening and responding, resulting in the co-development of a formally documented language agreement between MSS and Kuku Yalanji people.

The Kuku Yalanji language initiative explicitly prioritises consultation with and direction from the Kuku Yalanji community for the purpose of building respectful relationships between school and community and for the teaching of Kuku Yalanji language at MSS.

This initiative has provided a genuine place for truth telling and acknowledgement of past wrongs, an opportunity for Kuku Yalanji students to stand taller, a pathway for understanding, valuing and celebration of Kuku Yalanji culture, and an ongoing voice to the school through the formalised Kuku Yalanji Language Advisory Group.

2019 awards sponsors

The Queensland Reconciliation Awards is an initiative of the Queensland Government through the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Proudly supported by:

Business

Supported by BHP

BHP 

Partnership

Supported by Lendlease

Lendlease

Community

Supported by ABC Radio Brisbane and Queensland

  

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