As a young business committed to the highest standards of environmental and social corporate citizenship, EcoMag is proud to formally launch its Reconciliation Action Plan during National Reconciliation Week.
EcoMag wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this nation, and to pay respect to past, present and future Elders, and to the cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“When we started thinking about Indigenous engagement, we sat around trying to think up ways in which we might contribute to local communities,” EcoMag Chief Executive Officer, Tony Crimmins said. “It wasn’t until we started talking to people outside the organisation that we realised we were making an all too common mistake. We were trying to guess what would be good for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rather than asking them.”
EcoMag searched for an appropriate framework for its Indigenous engagement, seeking a practical roadmap for action. Subsequent research took them to Reconciliation Australia, and to the concept of an action plan.
“We realised we were just at the start of a journey and that we needed guidance to take the first step in the right direction,” Mr Crimmins said. “We also knew that acknowledgement and respect were fine sentiments but essentially empty unless we also took action.”
EcoMag’s Reconciliation Action Plan contains a sequence of achievable, measurable steps and the company commits to its engagement with Traditional Owners being guided by core principles:
Acknowledgement and respect — EcoMag’s non-Indigenous staff recognise that they cannot fully understand the experiences and perspectives of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and undertake to engage with Traditional Owners with respect for their diversity and their history.
Relationships and engagement — EcoMag is committed to building effective social and professional relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who may be affected by the company’s operations.
Capacity building — EcoMag recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strengths and capacity to contribute, and seeks a collaborative approach to building skills and providing opportunities to support local communities.
Autonomy — EcoMag recognises the need for all people to have autonomy in their lives and undertakes to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to listen to their perspectives, and where possible to implement their preferred solutions.
“As the name suggests, our Traditional Custodians have a long history of protecting and managing the land and sea that has sustained them for tens of thousands of years,” Mr Crimmins said. “We recycle and help to rehabilitate a waste stream which flows into the ocean. I like to think that we draw inspiration from our Traditional Custodians in this regard and I’m quite sure we can learn from them. I firmly believe that if the planet is to sustain us for tens of thousands of years into the future, we need to learn these lessons. The EcoMag team is excited about starting this journey and proud to be taking the first small steps, learning and hopefully contributing over time.”
EcoMag’s Reconciliation Action Plan is a public document, lodged with Reconciliation Australia, and available here.