As a part of our internal team impact program, the Zea team had the incredible opportunity to spend the afternoon at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Melbourne Museum. We participated in a cultural awareness session with our consultant and educator, Tyson Holloway-Clarke.
This session was a critical step in the process of developing Zea’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a framework for developing commitments towards reconciliation.
What is Bunjilaka?
The exhibit is community-owned and run, and was developed by the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Museum and local traditional elders. The historically rich exhibit contains not only personal stories but also cultural artefacts given directly by the community. Bunjilaka is the only permanent exhibition on Victorian Aboriginal communities and was developed in collaboration between elders as part of the Yulendj group, community members and the museum.
Tyson commented that it is truly just one big exhibit of self-representation and knowledge-sharing, and serves as an occasion for which to unify the storage of this important knowledge in one place.
The exhibit is split up into 3 sections, allowing the team to be immersed and learn from 3 different perspectives and ideas.
- A general and broad overview of Aboriginal culture - both at a state and national level. It also shares the creation story of the Kulin nation (the First Nations people of the Port Phillip area in Victoria, consisting of five major clans).
- The specific history of colonisation of Victoria
- Aboriginal modern history of resistance, politics and community
The Importance of Cultural Awareness Training
While it is important for all Australian businesses to engage in Aboriginal cultural awareness training, it is particularly critical that the Zea team is educated on the history and origins of the First Nations people from which many of our ingredients were first discovered and used by. Tyson explained the 3 major benefits of developing a reconciliation plan for a business:
- At an individual level, the knowledge and skills developed through creating a RAP, about Aboriginal history, awareness and culture are all assets that one can take to any job and beyond.
- At a business level, a RAP serves as a meaningful way to engage with Aboriginal communities in a respectful manner.
- There has been a real movement in the last 10 years of understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and recognition of this on a societal level. Developing a RAP enables a business to be involved in this new wave of representation and discourse that is happening across the country.
Overall, the cultural awareness session was not only an enriching and rewarding experience, but an important learning experience to be had. Over the next several months, we will endeavour to share any updates regarding the development of our RAP with our Zea family, so please make sure you sign up to the mailing list to stay up to date on this exciting journey.