Reconciliation Awards celebrate influential initiatives

Nangara NAIDOC group.

Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, Rainforest 4 Foundation, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corp and Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia were among the winners at the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

This year, the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards honoured initiatives which have enhanced cultural awareness and understanding, and improved the experiences of First Nations people at school, at work and in the community.

Joint winners in the Business category, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union have engaged in proactive programs and strategies to create more supportive, respectful workplaces.

COOEE Indigenous Family and Community Education Centre has been recognised in the Community category for its work, sharing the insights of Elders with local government and non-government organisations, educational institutions and individuals, to address inequality and cultural competency in the Redlands and Greater Brisbane.

And the winners of the Premier’s Reconciliation Award and joint winners in the Partnership category, the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation and Rainforest 4 Foundation have formed a truly unique partnership – the only formalised, non-Government program which purchases land for conservation to be owned and managed by its Traditional Owners.

Their collaboration is not only enhancing conservation efforts in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, but is reconnecting Eastern Kuku Yalanji people with Country.

Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador Johnathan Thurston said education initiatives – including 2021 Education winner Gracemere State School’s Indigenous language program – were making a lasting difference in the lives of young Queenslanders.

“I have seen firsthand the incredible effect that educating school children about First Nations people and culture has on their level of engagement at school and their self-esteem,” Mr Thurston said.

“At Gracemere State School, they’ve developed and delivered a Darumbal language and Aboriginal cultural program that is creating new connections, and a greater sense of belonging for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“I’m proud to be a part of an Awards program that acknowledges the important work of advancing reconciliation, particularly for young Queenslanders.”