Over the past 6 months Pickwick has devoted considerable resources to developing its own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) recognising the need to take affirmative action in working with Indigenous Australians and Indigenous businesses. Pickwick’s RAP has now been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia (https://www.reconciliation.org.au/). The Company has taken numerous steps in this key area, from the symbolic and ongoing recognition of Traditional Owners, Custodians and Elders past and present, to engaging and working with Indigenous suppliers, to the establishment of a majority Indigenous-owned Joint Venture Company servicing key clients and employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
On 3rd November, Pickwick hosted staff, suppliers and clients along with local elders and Indigenous representatives in government and industry at the official launch of its RAP held at the Jagera Community Hall in Brisbane. Pickwick CEO Ken Holder and Pickwick National HR Manager Rachael Murdoch used the occasion to thank all those that had worked tirelessly on the creation of its RAP pointing out ‘actions speak louder than words’ and the onus was now on all within Pickwick to do their part in making the RAP a reality. Importantly 2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum where 91% of Australian’s voted to change the Constitution to include Indigenous people in the census and allow the Commonwealth government to make laws for Indigenous people. It also marks 25 years since the 1992 Mabo decision which recognised the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples as the traditional owners of their land and that the previously held policy of terra nullius (empty land – or land that belongs to nobody) should not have applied to Australia.
As part of its RAP celebrations 6 individual paintings created by Indigenous artist Charo Angeles were unveiled. Each painting represents the states where Pickwick has an office and collectively form a mural as shown in one photo accompanying this article though will be hung separately in each state office. Those present also had the chance to learn the history and hear the didgeridoo from John Briggs (http://www.johnbriggs.net.au/) as well as enjoy delicious Indigenous food prepared by Bryant Wells (http://www.tukkarestaurant.com.au).