EIANZ acknowledges that NAIDOC Week is running from Sunday 2 July - Sunday 9 July 2023. We encourage all our members and their colleagues to participate in NAIDOC Week activities in their communities. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
As we reflect during NAIDOC Week on the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian society, it’s important to consider the roles and responsibilities of environment professionals in facilitating the bringing of traditional knowledge into environmental decision making.
Prof Deen Sanders OAM, a proud Worimi man and Integrity Practice Leader for Deloitte Australia is passionate about the application of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge to a better understanding of nature and a proper relationship between people and landscapes. Writing in a recent World Economic Forum report on Embedding Indigenous Knowledge in Conservation and Restoration of Landscapes he writes:
“My people (the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia) are part of a global community of Indigenous peoples who have nurtured the land, carved story in it, sung and danced and cared for every inch of its vast landscape as ecological scientists and nature resource managers, since time immemorial.”
“…. The history of our globalizing community and the social, political and economic systems that underpin it have brought us all to the precipice of systemic collapse.”
“…. - the answer lies in a better understanding of nature, a better (proper) relationship with our landscapes and, as ever, it is the knowledge and sense of responsibility of Indigenous people, as custodians of landscape, that best place them to help everyone come into a proper relationship with nature, with “Nayiri Barray” – our Mother.”
“For us [Indigenous Peoples], nature cannot be separated from survival, from life, from responsibility. It is life. It demands our responsibility.”
“Being responsible begins with acknowledging the relationality we hold with the land we stand on. Wherever we are is our Mother. ….”
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2023 is “For Our Elders” the cultural knowledge holders who transmit Indigenous knowledge from the past to the present and into the future.
The first stage of EIANZ's Reflect RAP - our 17 agreed actions as endorsed by Reconciliation Australia - comprises four groups (Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance), and agreed action number 9 is to Build respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories by celebrating NAIDOC Week. Reach out to your Division’s RAP facilitator if you want more information on the EIANZ Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.
As the EIANZ treads the path of reconciliation it is important that the Institute knows and listens to those whose voices reflect the Indigenous community with which they identify.
You can self-identify by updating your details on your member profiles by ticking the "Do you identify as ..." box. By updating your membership profile, you will be helping us not only update our data but also enable us to honour our intentions to include Indigenous members in the decision making.
Please reach out to email@example.com if you would like any further information on updating your profile.