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Reconciliation Week 2020 – Building Aboriginal Victoria: In This Together

Reconciliation Week is a time for Australians to reflect on our shared history and our shared future. It’s a time for non-Aboriginal people to explore what they can do to help move towards reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As part of a recorded webinar, this year we heard from Aboriginal businesses about the goods and services they can supply to the roads, rail and infrastructure industry, what makes their business different, and their thoughts on reconciliation. As part of the panel we also heard from:

  • Shawn Andrews, Chair of SupplyAUS
  • Tim McCartney, Manager of Economic Development at Wail Nursery (Barengi Badjin)
  • Hayden Heta, Managing Director at Wamarra Civil Construction
  • Michel Boyle, Chief Executive and Luke Walker, General Manager at Agile Group

NAIDOC Week 2020 – Celebrating Aboriginal culture and connection to land through urban design

The 2020 NAIDOC Week theme is 'Always was, Always Will Be', references the chant sung at gatherings and protests, where the final line is the ‘Aboriginal land’.

The webinar is split into two parts; Aboriginal flora and landscaping, and Aboriginal urban design.

Part one is led by Cassie Leatham, a Bushtukka woman and educator from the Taungurung people of the Kulin Nation explaining the meaning and uses of native plants, herbs and flowers, followed by an example of an Aboriginal landscaping project by VicRoads (now the Department of Transport) presented by Rhiannon Caynes, Senior Environmental Officer at DoT.

Part two hears from Kat Rodwell, Indigenous Engagement Advisor at WPA and McConnell Dowell and Ngunnawal woman, and Jack Manning, Sustainability Manager at SEPA on how Aboriginal culture is being incorporated into urban design on other major transport infrastructure projects, including the Level Crossing Removal Project.


Podcasts

Episode 1

Switchboard and bringing your whole self to work

Episode 1 introduces us to Switchboard, a support service for LGBTIQA+ people. CEO Joe Ball reflects on Switchboard’s beginning in the 1990s AIDS crisis, and the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community all the time, but especially during pandemics.

We then hear from Bernadette Doyle, Team Manager of Drivers at Yarra Trams, who still considers herself a newbie after 11 years! Bernadette chats about her journey to bringing her whole self to work; from isolation and self-preservation to a cultural shift that now finds her safe and successful. She debunks myths, calls on people to face their fears and stresses the importance of allies and leading by example.

Listen to episode 1


Episode 2

History repeats itself but the future looks bright

Switchboard CEO Joe Ball explains how they are adapting services during COVID19, how it exasperates existing suffering and why it is bringing back memories and fears for many LGBTIQA+ people.

Then listen to Michelle Sheppard, Inclusion Capability Officer at the Level Crossing Removal Project. Michelle shares what it’s like being a transwoman starting a new job mid-pandemic in an industry not traditionally seen as LGTBIQA+ inclusive, and her many hopes on how that industry can move forward. She discusses the particular need for public transport to be a safe space, overcoming fears and automatic responses and what happens in the workplace when LGBTIQA+ people feel comfortable.

Listen to episode 2


Episode 3

Same same, but different

Is coming out a career limiting move? Switchboard CEO Joe Ball shares what they think, and their thoughts on workplace pride networks and inclusion plans. Joe discusses how life can stay the same for individuals despite broader progress, and how you can get involved at Switchboard. Keep listening to hear from Sarah Pendlebury, Service Desk Technician at Yarra Trams, who has worked the trifecta of

Victoria’s rail operators! Sarah chats about the importance of language and managers, the strength to be found in connecting with other LGBTIQA+ people, and tips for LGBTIQA+ people and supporting each other during COVID19.

Listen to episode 3


Episode 4

Anxiety and a silver lining

In this bonus episode, we first hear from Tracy Petersen-Esposito, Switchboard’s clinical supervisor, about the power of peer-based support and assisting someone with anxiety.

Then Ro Allen, Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality tells us what their family are doing to adapt and get through the pandemic, and gives some tips for industry and allies. They remind us that individual discrimination still exists and that ‘coming out’ is still a process. Looking to the future, Ro celebrates the resilience of the LGBTIQA+ community, the good things happening during COVID19 and the strong leadership that Victoria shows for LGBTIQA+ people.

Listen to episode 4


Episode 5

NAIDOC Pride - Industry

An important part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s NAIDOC Week calendar is NAIDOC Pride, celebrating the intersectionality of being Indigenous and queer.

In this podcast, Michelle Sheppard sits down with Abel Britton from industry to speak about the importance of NAIDOC, what it means to him and how being a proud gay man from the Torres Strait Islands has shaped his life and his work.

Listen to episode 5


Episode 6

NAIDOC Pride – VIC NAIDOC

An important part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s NAIDOC Week calendar is NAIDOC Pride, celebrating the intersectionality of being Indigenous and queer.

To highlight Australia’s only Indigenous queer NAIDOC celebrations, Michelle Sheppard speaks to Zac Widers from VIC NAIDOC Pride about the importance of NAIDOC Week visibility, and how identifying as Aboriginal and queer, being a minority within a minority, has helped form their confidence today.

Listen to episode 6


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