“We have lots of acronyms for SYC. So You Can, Steer Your Career…today we add one more: Show Your Culture.” – Joe Aylward, SYC COO Community Services

On Wednesday, the 6th of July, we officially launched our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan in the middle of National NAIDOC Week. Guests joined us in this celebration at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute with a Livestream of the event available so all our staff could be part of the day. 

Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri man Robert Taylor performed a moving Welcome to Country and spoke about the meaning of reconciliation and the importance of community. Robert called for unity in our steps towards reconciliation, “It is 2022, and we all call this place home, so we are all brothers and sisters, never mind our cultural beliefs, our religious beliefs or which country we come from. It’s very important to move forward as one, but we mustn’t forget this is the traditional land of the Kaurna people.” 

Representing The Honourable Premier Peter Malinauskas MP, The Honourable Tung Ngo MLC similarly spoke about the role of collaboration in reconciliation. Minister Tung congratulated SYC for formalising our commitment to reconciliation, noting that we all have a role to play. Coincidently, Minister Tung had engaged with SYC (then Service to Youth Council) as a graduate, helping connect young people with crisis support. He took the opportunity to acknowledge SYC’s growth and thank the organisation for its positive impact in providing services to foster wellbeing and independence over our more than 60-year history. 

Guest speaker Craig Rigney, CEO of KWY, shared some history about NAIDOC Week and talked about the relevance of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme: Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up to the process of enacting real change. Craig spoke of the pillars of reconciliation: relationships, respect, opportunities and governance and the importance of establishing measurable and achievable goals and actions. He also called for empathy and compassion, asking us to work together to amplify the voices of our First Nations communities in the reconciliation process. 

The launch event provided the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the dedication and commitment of our Reconciliation Action Working Group. The members of this group, led by Co-Chairs Leki Mafoe and Nic Jarvis, worked tirelessly on our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. Their passion and dedication drive our organisation to do more for our First Nations staff, clients, and community. 

Our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan is SYC’s formal commitment to closing the gap to improve opportunities and life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As Mark Hoffman-Davis, SYC CEO, said, “It’s my hope that through this plan, everyone at SYC will choose to personally invest in building stronger connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities and that this will foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of their rich and diverse cultures.” 

We know that we will work together as an organisation and as individuals to continue our reconciliation journey and make this hope a reality for all who connect and work with us. 

Read our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan here.