ICC Sydney launches Reconciliation Action Plan alongside artwork commission
The first convention centre in Australia to launch such a plan, the journey has been two years in the making, according to ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy.
“We started on this journey at the very beginning of our pre-opening period, because we realised the importance of the planning process that needed to go into this,” he said. “As a major venue and touchpoint not just for Sydneysiders but also national and international delegates we feel an obligation to share the acknowledgement and celebration of our First Nation’s culture. We are very grateful for the support we received from so many people.”
The Reconciliation Action Plan bolsters ICC Sydney’s ongoing commitment to recognise and celebrate the cultures, practices and traditions of Australia’s First Nations, including the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the custodians of the land on which ICC Sydney is located, within the venue and the events it hosts.
To visually represent First Nations art and culture across the precinct, ICC Sydney has commissioned an artwork by Aboriginal artist and Boomalli Aboriginal Artist’s Cooperative founding co-member Jeffrey Samuels. Elements of the work are now displayed prominently across all main entry points of the venue and across the precinct to officially welcome visitors. Titled Gadigal, Acknowledgement Respect, Samuels’ work tells the story of how Australia’s First People are connected to this part of Sydney Harbour.
“We are proud of the progress we have made to promote opportunities for First Nations communities across the business since opening and are committed to building on this,” said Donaghy.
“Some of the highlights for us have included pre-employment programs for hospitality students with Eora College, engaging with Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council to connect events with Welcome to Country and other cultural services and now, celebrating the captivating artwork by Jeffrey Samuels to signify to our visitors that they’re on Gadigal land.”
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine congratulated ICC Sydney on its commitment to furthering reconciliation.
“A reconciled Australia is practising respect, understanding and empathy for the First Peoples of this nation, in our everyday lives,” she said. “As a landmark space in our community, I commend ICC Sydney on the steps it has taken to promote the cultures, heritage and history of our First Peoples to its clients and visitors.”
NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the government is proud to support the Reconciliation Action Plan and to see the venue leading the way in its sector.
“As the former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and now with oversight of ICC Sydney through our Property portfolio, the venue’s commitment to reconciliation is of great significance to me and the NSW Government,” he said. “ICC Sydney is building the pathway for other venues and businesses across Australia to follow.”
To find out more about ICC Sydney’s Reconciliation Action Plan click here.