27 May 2021
Queensland’s Reconciliation Awards acknowledge businesses, community groups, educational institutions and government entities for their achievements and contributions toward reconciliation, diversity and inclusivity.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the initiatives of the 2021 finalists promote and enhance reconciliation in their communities.
“Queenslanders continue to pave the path toward reconciliation, amplifying First Nations voices and creating a fairer, more respectful state,” the Premier said.
“The finalists for the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards represent the best of our state – people coming together to improve the understanding of this country’s history and cultural heritage, connect communities, create opportunities for growth and build respectful relationships between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.”
Of the four companies nominated in the business category for 2021, two are prominent in the engineering profession including Lendlease Queensland and the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation.
Two Engineers Australia members were on the draft Reconciliation Action Plan working group for the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation. During the company’s development of the RAP, the business implemented cultural competency training for staff, increased employment of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, raised procurement spend on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and named a new port road in the Yuwi language.
Many members of Engineers Australia work for Lendlease in Queensland which was nominated for its Elevate RAP. The plan aims to support the economic independence of First Nations peoples through bespoke employment programs, cultural awareness activities and business procurement support initiatives.
In the partnership category, engineering professionals were nominated for the Raine Island Recovery Project which was a collaboration between Wuthathi and Meriam Nation (Ugar, Mer, Erub), BHP, Department of Environment and Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The recovery project aims to restore the world’s largest green turtle nesting area, on Raine Island. So far, an extra 640,000 turtle hatchings have begun life on the Reef and millions more are expected to be born over the next decade. The project is also making a considerable contribution towards enabling Traditional Owners to take ownership of the long-term management of Raine Island.
Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador Johnathan Thurston said he had been greatly encouraged by the diversity and innovation of nominations.
“Seeing Queenslanders working towards a more respectful and dynamic community is gratifying, and I am continuously struck by this in my role as Awards Ambassador,” Thurston said.
The winners from each of the five categories will be announced at a ceremony in Townsville during National Reconciliation Week. Winners will receive a share of $30,000 in prize money.