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For Our Elders – Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2023

Last week, MinRes acknowledged NAIDOC Week 2023 with a range of events and activities across our Perth and regional locations, celebrating the positive impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and achievements have on our business, communities and country.

Our celebrations honoured this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “For Our Elders”, and acknowledged trailblazing knowledge holders who continue to play a vital role across our Indigenous communities.

At our head office in Osborne Park, the week began with an opening ceremony including an address from Managing Director Chris Ellison, Welcome to Country by Wadjuk Noongar woman Rosemary Walley and didgeridoo performance by talented Johnny Garlett, followed by an insightful Q&A with Rosemary and Johnny.

A series of inspiring conversations with Indigenous women leaders was also shared with MinRes employees.

MinRes Board member Colleen Hayward chatted with GM Communities and Heritage Heath Nelson about the vital role Elders play in society and the significance of their wisdom and knowledge.

Indigenous entrepreneur and Managing Editor of the National Indigenous Times’ Lifestyle section (StyleUp) Shahna Smith also joined EGM Corporate Affairs Tim Picton to share her story of personal and professional growth.

We also welcomed Indigenous artists in residence Biara Martin and Amaliya Treacy to our head office, employees and visitors made their mark on an image of nearby Noogenboro (Herdsman Lake), with Biara and Amaliya on hand for advice or simply a yarn.

Across our regional sites, teams recognised NAIDOC Week with Welcome to Country events, flag raising and smoking ceremonies, sports and social events, plus live performances by local Aboriginal musicians including the Bradley Hall Band, Corey Colum, and the Kal Boys Band.

NAIDOC Week celebrations were also supported across the communities where we operate, including in Onslow where MinRes-hosted Elders morning tea event attended by Thalanyji members, local Elders, and the broader community. Senior students from Onslow Primary School helped guests with art activities while they shared personal stories of the significant role Elders play in their lives.

Further north, MinRes supported the Julyardi Aboriginal Corporation (Hedland Strong Leaders) with activities across NAIDOC Week and sponsor the Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation’s NAIDOC Celebration event. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture was celebrated with traditional food, stories shared by community elders, finishing the day with a traditional performance from members of the Stewart family.

MinRes also supported students from Manea Senior College to travel to Yandeyarra for their annual NAIDOC on-Country experience. Students spent the week with the Yandeyarra Remote Community School, working on several community development projects while learning and immersing themselves in the local traditional culture.

MinRes GM Communities and Heritage Heath Nelson said MinRes continues to prioritise relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We recognise the importance of building strong relationships with the communities where we operate, while we seek early and ongoing consultation with our Traditional Owners to ensure they share in the success of our operations.”

“NAIDOC Week provides an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. We encourage our people to keep conversations ongoing and, continue to sharing knowledge and understanding, just as Elders have in the past and continue to do today.”

MinRes continues to prioritise strong relationships with Aboriginal people and communities in the areas where we live and operate. Our ongoing commitment will be reflected in our newest Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan now under development.