Stockland as an organisation has a commitment to reconciliation and we are at the mid-point in our ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which is our second RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. Our activities over the past year have focused on programs and initiatives in the areas of health and wellbeing, education and community connection to help shape thriving communities that respect, value and celebrate Australia’s First Peoples.
An opportunity existed on two of Stockland’s Retail Town Centre development projects on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in two Stockland communities (Birtinya and Baringa) and registered for Green Star, to develop a ‘Project RAP’ for the two developments. Using organisational commitments made under Stockland’s group Innovate RAP, we developed a project-specific RAP, with a series of initiatives that could be implemented on the projects.
There was a synergy in that the two projects were in the same QLD region and in construction in parallel and that we were already in consultation with the local Aboriginal community (Kabi Kabi) on activities in our Aura Master Planned Community which is certified under Green Star Communities. This initiative provided further opportunity to work with the Kabi Kabi on a new set of initiatives that would benefit their community at both the project and community level.
Utilising existing relationships established with local Kabi Kabi stakeholders and Native Title applicants, we engaged an Aboriginal owned consultancy, Balarinji to help facilitate authentic engagement around culture, art, employment, skills, storytelling and identity. We conducted workshops and meetings to consult and develop a range of in initiatives that aligned to Kabi Kabi interests and needs.
Key initiatives undertaken as part of the Stockland Birtinya Project RAP:
- Two engagement and ideas generation workshops held
- Retail Ready – 5 week Retail Skills Program for indigenous participants
- Retailer Welcome Pack Gift using local Kabi Kabi artist in design
- Cultural Awareness Training held with Stockland project team
- Kabi Kabi Acknowledgement/Welcome Ceremony held at centre opening event
- RAP Plaque installed in centre public mall space
We will seek to pursue other initiatives once the projects are complete, such as using the centre as a cultural performance or arts exhibition space.
With the development of our next Innovate RAP for FY20-22 underway, we look to continue our reconciliation focus on initiatives regarding health and wellbeing, education, and community connection to help shape thriving communities that respect, value and celebrate Australia’s First Peoples.