Cultural Connection: Walking Together for National Reconciliation Week 2024 

Fostering an inclusive environment and promoting cultural connection is not just a commitment—it’s a way of life at Civic. We are committed to building genuine relationships to form true allyship through partnering and walking with First Nations peoples.

In the lead-up to National Reconciliation Week 2024, the theme “Now More Than Ever” prompted us to consider the actions we can take to build a more inclusive Australia.

Mornings of Reflection and Inclusion
Under the warm rays of the sun, a Yarning Circle at our Liverpool Hub provided a platform for staff and clients to come together, share their stories, and show support for a unified future.

We continued this spirit of inclusion with a second yarning circle, this time at the Civic Head Offices at Caringbah, where staff and supported employees came together to share their thoughts and experiences.

Both gatherings were beautiful demonstrations of inclusion, reminding us all that every voice matters. The simple act of sitting together and engaging in meaningful conversations highlighted the importance of understanding and empathy in our busy lives.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Sharlene Mckenzie OAM for her wisdom and guidance, which enrich our collective journey towards reconciliation.

Embracing Cultural Education
Clients, staff and Board met for an Aboriginal mapping exercise. Led by Sharlene, clients Rodney, Kat and Barb worked alongside Chairman Les Roelandts and Civic staff to identify the areas in which Civic currently provides services.

We learned the traditional land names of the areas, along with the totem and what it represents. We talked about our current connections in these areas and how we can strengthen these connections further.

Reconciliation Week: Walking Together
We were honored to be joined by Aunty Yvonne of the Gleagal, Bidjigal People of Wollangang Tribe, along with Sharlene Mckenzie, Shaylee Matthews, Levii Griffiths and Kara Richardson from Allawaw, for a Reconciliation Week morning tea.

Graham Avery from Sutherland Shire Council performed a smoking ceremony, a traditional practice to cleanse the old and welcome the new.

We also had the privilege of hearing from Kat, who has been working closely with Kara to explore and understand her cultural identity. Kat shared her story through traditional painting and carvings on a boomerang, illustrating her connection between art and culture.

Renewing Our Statement of Commitment
In partnership with the community, Civic renewed our Statement of Commitment. The statement was read aloud and signed by Aunty Yvonne, Civic Chair Les Roelandts, CEO Annie Doyle and Kat.

The signing of this document cements our commitment to take an active role in closing the gap by ensuring that cultural connection remains part of who we are and how we operate.

A Continuing Journey
We are grateful to everyone who has joined us on this journey so far and look forward to continuing our efforts to build a more inclusive and connected community.

Together, we can create a future where cultural understanding and unity are at the forefront of everything we do.

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