We have always been committed to building stronger, more meaningful relationships with Indigenous people and organisations through the principles of understanding, respect and acceptance.
Our current commitment includes supporting local employment by contracting to Indigenous enterprises, sponsorship and strict compliance and partnership in relation to Native Title and Cultural Heritage.
We are demonstrating our commitment to reconciliation within Australia through the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), due to be released in 2020.
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement, led by Reconciliation Australia.
We have been actively engaging and building relationships with the Traditional Owners of our ports over several decades.
We look forward to strengthening our ties and relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
In 2019, the RAP Working Group was established, that includes representatives across all levels of the business. Importantly, representation was also sought from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
Our RAP will stretch us to deliver the practical actions that will drive NQBP’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which we operate.
The aim is to build genuine, two-way relationships and to identify real and sustainable opportunities that lead to positive outcomes for everyone.
We have commitments with our Traditional Owner representatives to responsibly manage the land and waters of each of our ports.
NQBP supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses through economic participation strategies.
NQBP and Juru Enterprise Limited (JEL) have worked closely over the past ten years to build a strong working relationship, business capability and sustainable performance.
In 2018, NQBP engaged JEL to conduct weed management at the Port of Abbot Point.
The initial commitment of two years and support to provide training and equipment enabled JEL to employ four additional local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths. NQBP has now extended our commitment for the weed management contract to the end of 2025.
In 2019, additional support for training of the Land Management Crew was provided to enable the completion of turtle monitoring and tagging operations. This included formal training provided to Traditional Owners by the Queensland Government to conduct monitoring during turtle nesting and hatching season. Active protection of nests from predators was also included in the scope of the training and these skills will provide positive cultural and ecological outcomes.
“Working with NQBP has been a very rewarding opportunity for not only myself but our staff as well, we have learnt much more than Environmental Land Management and leadership, but business opportunities within our own organisation for growth and development. I am very proud to be a part of this growing friendship," Jessica Vakameilalo, JEL
As part of strengthening our relationship with the Yuwi People of the Mackay and Hay Point region, in January 2020 NQBP named a new road at the Port of Mackay in Yuwi language.
The new road, which provides direct access to North Wall Beach and sea, is known as Gudyara Road, meaning “sea” in Yuwi language.
The naming of the road recognises the special connection of the Yuwi People to the port land and sea country. It will also help to revive knowledge and understanding of the Yuwi language.
Yuwi Elder, Gary Mooney, said the name was chosen because sea country is very important to the Yuwi People.
“A new direct access to the beach is very important. The name Gudyara reflects this and the use of Indigenous languages is very important for the betterment of Yuwi culture”, (Gary Mooney, Yuwi Elder).
NQBP CEO, Nicolas Fertin, said the road naming acknowledges the Port of Mackay is in the Traditional land and sea country of the Yuwi People and supports the recognition and revival of the Yuwi language.
In 2019, NQBP provided sponsorship for NAIDOC celebrations at Mackay and Bowen. This included direct funding for:
NQBP has also provided local sponsorship for Aboriginal Rugby League teams in Mackay, Bowen and Cape York. These sponsorships help support the community teams with jerseys.
NQBP also has a partnership with the North Queensland Cowboys, which includes engaging with Indigenous students in NQBP’s port communities.
We look forward to supporting activities within our port communities that build respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.