Reconciliation Action Plan
Our Vision for Reconciliation
At the heart of the Bennelong Foundation
and Bangarra Family Office is community
Since inception the Bennelong Foundation and Bangarra Family Office have had a deep respect for First Nations peoples, our names inspired to celebrate and recognise strong and bold Aboriginal leadership. In 2019 the Group made a commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Training to improve our knowledge and increase our capacity to work safely, respectfully, and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families, and communities. We were introduced to the world of Indigenous histories and cultures ways of being, the impacts of colonisation, and the local communities where we work on a deeper level than we had before.
Through this journey we have been moved and inspired, we have learned the importance of truth-telling and acknowledged the shared histories of First Nations peoples of Australia and other Australians as well as the necessity to heal past and ongoing injustices. It has deepened our commitment to an Australia that embraces unity and a shared vision of the future and opened opportunities for the Group of businesses to participate in the reconciliation journey beyond grant-making.
In 2022, the Bennelong Foundation and Bangarra Family Office decided to make a formal and structured commitment to our vision of reconciliation through the development of our first Reconciliation Action Plan.
About our RAP artwork
The Bennelong Foundation engaged with 2021 and 2022 grant partner Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation to work with Maclean Public School students and Yaegl artist Frances Belle Parker to create the artwork for the Bennelong Foundation and Bangarra Family Office Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The artwork was created through a workshop held during the 2022 Reconciliation Week and encouraged the students to talk about what reconciliation means and what role a RAP plays within businesses. The process allowed the students to explore cultural art and intellectual property rights of culture, and why it was important to consult with community members.
Title: ‘Together We Walk’
Artist: Frances Belle Parker using design elements of students from Maclean Public School.
Contributing Students: Olivia Parker-Dow, Sienna Stanley, Natasha Piper, Demarco Quinlin-Randall, David Clague, Jeremiah Kapeen, LeBron Mercy and Brian Daley.
Medium: Digital Artwork
The artwork ‘Together We Walk’ contains various design elements created by a group of Aboriginal Students at Maclean Public School in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
During Reconciliation Week 2022, artist, Frances Belle Parker and Aneika Kapeen, CEO of Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation, visited Maclean Public School where they worked alongside the children to create the artwork ‘Together We Walk’.
The children were actively engaged throughout the workshop listening to Frances and Aneika talk about Aboriginal art, Reconciliation Week and learning about the work of the Bennelong Foundation. The students were excited to be given the opportunity in creating artwork for the Bennelong Foundation’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Each student created specific elements to be used within the final artwork. Elements which are incorporated into the final artwork include snakes, grass trees, footprints, meeting places, people, hills, mountains, tracks, rivers, stars, the moon and the night sky. The beauty of this artwork is that all of these elements symbolise the storyline and narrative of walking together as one, alongside each other, venturing across the land
and being one with nature.
Together with the use of the vivid colours, which not only reflect the energy of the youth who played a pivotal role in the creation of this work, the colours also depict the vastness of the colours within the Australian landscape. This represents the journey of First Nations people across the country, and also the ongoing journey which continues to be taken by ALL Australians.
Together we walk.