Stockland recently celebrated National Reconciliation Week (NRW) in recognition of Australia’s reconciliation journey.
NRW is held between 27 May to 3 June and represents significant milestones in Australia’s history. 27 May marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and recognise them in the national census. 3 June commemorates the High Court of Australia’s landmark Mabo decision in 1992, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a relationship with the land which existed prior to colonisation.
Stockland celebrated our commitment to reconciliation at our shopping centres and offices, with each of our state offices hosting a NRW event with a local Elder or Custodian performing a Welcome to Country. Our shopping centres and retirement living villages also promoted NRW through posters and social media.
In line with our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) commitment to ‘acknowledge and promote respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures at significant sites’, many of our shopping centres also unveiled new plaques to recognise the traditional owners of the land upon which our centres stand.
Our Wendouree shopping centre hosted Uncle Byron Powell, who performed a Welcome to Country and a traditional Smoking Ceremony before unveiling the plaque with centre manager, Stevie Wright. After the unveiling ceremony, the centre held a one hour education session with Uncle Bryon, with Ochre face painting, emu feather hair clips, boomerang throwing demonstrations and storytelling. According to Stevie, “the event was an important example of our commitment to reconciliation. By respecting and acknowledging the traditional owners of the land, we have forged the beginnings of a great relationship and we look forward to working with the Wadawurrung People in the future.”