Working closely with Aboriginal contractors Wamarra has had such a positive influence on everyone here at Symal. We’re grateful for the opportunity to learn from each other and develop a greater appreciation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories through events such as NAIDOC Week.
As part of this year’s call to action to Heal Country, Wamarra put on a traditional Kup Murri and invited the wider Symal group to share the experience and learn more about our First Nation’s culture. Symal’s Contractors team set the scene, hosting the event at our new waste resources and recycling facility in Avalon.
Wamarra’s Hayden Heta shared the way he was taught to cook a Kup Murri – ground oven cooking and put on quite a feast for our people and their families!
The energy in the air was infectious during a Welcome and Smoking Ceremony by Traditional Owners of Waddawurrung Country, along with a performance by Aboriginal dance group, Koori Youth Will Shake Spears. The Spears perform traditional Aboriginal dances in their traditional costume and use ochre to mark their bodies with the traditional designs of their clan groups. It was an experience that we’ll never forget and one we’re so happy to be able to share with our kids.
During NAIDOC Week, we also take time to reflect and celebrate the achievements of Wamarra, who’ve kicked a lot of goals in their first 18 months as a new business. They’ve not only reached the goals they set at the beginning, they’ve smashed them!
They set out to provide meaningful careers for at least 20 Aboriginal people which they exceeded with 23 hired in the first 12 months and have maintained a retention rate greater than 95%. The goals to continually reach for a minimum of 80% Aboriginal workforce and deliver ongoing tailored training and development programs for upskilling are the foundations of this business and proud to be achieving.
Wamarra’s success is a credit to their talented team, each bringing a unique set of skills and capabilities. They’ve been on an exciting journey, forming partnerships with Australia’s top tier contractors working on some of Victoria’s most prominent projects.
We’re so proud of what they’ve achieved in the first 18 months and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes them.
Together, we can all make a difference towards a more inclusive, diverse and culturally safe industry.