A new initiative is expected to serve as a powerful tool in building meaningful cultural connections on Country toward resolution.
That’s according to CEO Nick Baker after Reflections Holiday Parks launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Newcastle this week.
The group, a Crown Land Manager, oversees 43 nature reserves and 36 holiday parks on 12 Aboriginal nations in NSW: Bundjalung, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr, Birpai, Worimi, Awabakal, Darkinjung, Yuin, Kamilaroi, Wonnarua, Wiradjuri and Ngunawal.
And, under the RAP, Reflections will develop opportunities for traditional expression and celebration while delivering social, cultural and economic outcomes for Indigenous communities.
Mr Baker said the plan would increase awareness with park managers and guests, boost employment and create lasting partnerships with Aboriginal people.
“Each year we welcome 2 million visitors from Australia and abroad,” he explained.
“So, we have the chance to introduce them to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and protect that for future generations.”
Reflections’ RAP sponsor and executive manager corporate communication Lauren Eyles said the RAP was developed under Reconciliation Australia’s framework.
“Key aspects of the RAP include cultural training for Reflections staff, participation in local community events and engagement of Aboriginal service providers,” she added.
Reflections’ Aboriginal engagement officer and Githabul Bundjalung woman Cheryl Newton is establishing relationships with Traditional Custodians to develop cultural immersion and tourism experiences.
She’ll capture learnings to help guide other Crown Land Managers to partner with Aboriginal people under a pilot program between Reflections and Crown Lands.
“Our cultures are rich and deep with Aboriginal histories as is our land,” she said.
“And, The Dreaming set out the structures of how we care for it.
“Today we still go by these structures. We still, and always will, nurture this land.”
For further information on the Reconciliation Action Plan, visit reflectionsholidayparks.com.au
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