Celebrating National Reconciliation Week 2022

Culture / Studio News

National Reconciliation Week is an important part of the annual calendar for the DesignInc Sydney and Nguluway DesignInc studios. In 2022 we hosted a range of internal and external events to encourage our team to deepen their understanding of reconciliation on a personal and professional level, and to contribute to the broader conversation around reconciliation in the design industry.

Panel discussion, left to right: Damien Barnes, Matt Cornwell, Niki Warden, Craig Kerslake and Susan Moylen-Coombes.

Events included:

In line with the vision outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan, these events successfully engaged a wide range of people from both within our studios and the broader community in some of the complex questions around reconciliation as well as creating partnerships and supporting First Nations businesses.

Panel Discussion

Our Sydney studio hosted a panel discussion open to the general public, focusing on how to successfully bring First Nations voices into projects in the built environment. Facilitated by Nguluway DesignInc Board Member Damien Barnes, the panel comprised Matt Cornwell from Ngurra Advisory, Niki Warden from the Aboriginal Housing Corporation, Craig Kerslake from Nguluway DesignInc and Susan Moylen-Coombes from The Gaimaragal Group.

The discussion touched on a wide range of incredibly important topics around the challenges and successes of integrating First Nations stories into the built environment, as well a broader questions of equity and truth-telling.

Some points included:

  • the fundamental importance of relationships;
  • the importance of working with Custodians from the very beginning of a project, and taking the time to build trust;
  • ‘consultation fatigue’ among communities;
  • embracing the diverse, rich, dynamic and sometimes unexpected ways of telling First Nations stories;
  • how to decide which stories are told in which places;
  • who has the right to tell stories, and how the IP of stories is protected and owned by the community;
  • the need to address housing and infrastructure needs of First Nations people so communities can stay on Country;
  • the need to support First Nations communities through education and employment in the design and construction industry; and
  • how to create ‘safe spaces’ within organisations for First Nations people to work.

Networking event with DLG Shape

The DesignInc Sydney, Nguluway DesignInc and DLG Shape teams gathered at the DLG Shape studio over canapes and cocktails inspired by native ingredients. Our organisations share many values and a vision to increase First Nations employment opportunities and voices in the built environment.

Bracelet weaving workshop

Aunty Karleen Green hosted a workshop in our Sydney studio on how to weave traditional bracelets from foraged materials such as native grasses using traditional Aboriginal stitch.