Here at Bonnies, we are a very multicultural team with workers from all different backgrounds. As a team, we are all respectful of each other’s cultures, just the same as when we are working with our clients who are also from different backgrounds.
We are constantly sharing our own traditions with each other, whether it be through food, language, sharing knowledge, or taking part in cultural celebrations and activities.
“I think it’s important to have a mixture of different cultures in the work environment. It not only gives us the chance to provide culturally appropriate responses to the families we are here to support but it also raises the cultural awareness, and sharing between workers.”
We have our very own RAP plan here at Bonnie’s, which I am very proud of. As an Aboriginal woman, to see how it is weaved into practice within Bonnie’s is definitely something that I applaud. It’s not just a document. It is continuously brought to life in many of our interactions and activities.
This year we now have three Aboriginal staff members here at Bonnie’s. This is something that the organisation has been striving for, for some time. It means we can share our knowledge and be there for cultural consultations with other workers, when they may seek guidance for the Aboriginal families they work with. This provides an opportunity to increase cultural safety for both Aboriginal staff and the Aboriginal families that we support.
This year during COVID-19, we couldn’t take part in any external event as we normally do. Yet Reconciliation Week was not forgotten. Activities were organised with just the team. This allowed us to really connect with what Reconciliation means to each staff member and everyone showed such a genuine interest. I was so delighted to see how it all played out. And it confirmed, even more, my belief in Bonnie’s and what we strive to do here.
One of the activities was creating our very own Reconciliation tree which represents the sharing, remembering and growing of knowledge together. And each of us doing our part to look after this tree so that it doesn’t perish. This is all part of Reconciliation.
We also made a Reconciliation wall, which included the staff’s feedback about what Reconciliation means to them. Seeing words like ‘Shared Understanding’, ‘Acknowledgment’, ‘Togetherness’, ‘Opportunity for Healing’, and ‘Recognition of the Experience and Losses of the First Nation People’ gives me a lot of hope for the future.
I look forward to being a part of and witnessing how Bonnie’s will continue to bring the Reconciliation Action Plan to life.