Dancing for Countryright-arrow
read-time2 mins
by Charter Hall

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For NAIDOC Week 2021, our Retail business, in partnership with author Maree Yoelu (McCarthy), created a 12-page children’s storybook.

Maree is a Wadjigany woman, from the western Wagait region in the Northern Territory. The concept for the story specifically speaks to the 2021 NAIDOC Week’s theme of ‘Heal Country’, and is titled ‘Dancing for Country’.

In total, 14 of our shopping centres reached out to students across 60 local schools, including Indigenous schools within the community, to design the illustrations to feature in the storybook. The artworks were displayed in-centre, and we received over 10,000 votes from our communities for their favourite designs.

We also held a series of ‘Dancing for Country’ events to celebrate NAIDOC Week and the launch of the storybook. At our Brickworks Marketplace, near the beautiful River Torrens, we held a NAIDOC Dancing for Country awards presentation and Smoking Ceremony. Students from six local school were thrilled to find out their illustrations had been chosen to be part of the Dancing for Country story book.

Our Dancing for Country partnership is just one example of the many initiatives that have been taking place across our business over recent years to celebrate and embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country.

This year we worked on our reconciliation strategy to guide the development of our Stage One: Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a strategic document that will drive our contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities we operate. Our RAP has been conditionally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and will launch in early FY22. ‘Dancing for Country’ is available for everyone to enjoy here.