Defence celebrates National Reconciliation Week
Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky opened the Defence Reconciliation event at the Australian War Memorial on Monday 30 May where DST alongside the Chief of the Defence Force unveiled a very special artwork followed by a panel discussion on Education as a Life Long Journey.
The Anthony Walker artwork titled Song Cycle of the Seven Sisters is the sister to the artwork that was revealed in Canberra at DST Headquarters in August last year.
The artworks are a symbol of Defence’s ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive environment which values, respects and draws on diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and skills of our people.
Dr Zelinsky, as an Indigenous champion for Defence, reinforced his commitment to ensuring Defence and DST are inclusive workplaces.
“If we are an inclusive workplace, we will enhance our reputation as an employer of choice. In turn this will allow the organisation to draw on the full breadth of talent in the community,” Zelinsky said.
“We want a workforce that is diverse in thoughts and ideas – the things that foster innovation, the essence of science.”
The artwork unveiled depicts Gurreng Gurreng people singing up to the Seven Sisters at a turtle nesting site in Mon Repos, Bundaberg. The Seven Sisters (also known as the Pleiades star cluster) safely guide turtles into shore to lay their eggs – ensuring a continued abundance of turtles in the area.
The unveiling was followed by a panel discussion on Education as a Life Long Journey led by Lisa Jackson Pulver. The esteemed panellists included Justin Mohamed (CEO Reconciliation Australia), Richard Potock (CEO Aurora), Leila Smith (Nous Group), Uncle Roy Mundine (Army Elder) and Uncle Harry Allie (Air Force Elder).
Each of the panelists took part in the discussion sharing their individual journeys – the challenges they have overcome and the rewards of pursuing a life long journey of learning.
Together they demonstrated that both formal and informal education can get you ahead in life – the main thread that wove all their stories together was determination and having someone supporting and encouraging them.