Creating culturally safe and inclusive workplaces in the Victorian water sector

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week

Victorian water corporations are working to develop their knowledge of Aboriginal culture and make sure they are culturally safe and inclusive by using cultural awareness training and other actions detailed in their Reconciliation Action Plans and/or Diversity & Inclusion strategies and plans.

Several water corporations use cultural awareness training to help create a culturally safe workplace by enhancing understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. Water corporations are also undertaking other inclusive practices, such as including ac­knowledgement of Country at meetings and events, participating in Indigenous celebra­tions and flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

Celebrating 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, Melbourne Water hosted Yaluk Biik Baan, an event week designed to increase knowledge and awareness of Ab­original culture. The showpiece event of Yaluk Biik Baan was an art exhibition featuring artworks from Traditional Owner artists and participants from The Torch, an organisation that supports Indige­nous offenders and ex-offenders through its Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community Program. Volunteers sold eleven paintings from the exhibition, raising over $3,000 for the Peter Cullen Trust Indigenous Scholarship, which funds Aboriginal people to partic­ipate in a Trust program for water and environment managers. Proceeds also went to artists from The Torch.

To find out more about the initiatives and activities that support Aboriginal inclusion, participation, engagement and employment in the Victorian water sector, see the Victorian Water Industry Recognising and Managing for Aboriginal Values Report (February 2020).