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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    2016 Queensland Reconciliation Awards open for nomination


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    2016 Queensland Reconciliation Awards open for nomination

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the 2016 Queensland Reconciliation Awards are open for nomination.

    Ms Palaszczuk said the awards recognised businesses, community organisations, educational institutions or partnerships going above and beyond their core business in continuing the drive for reconciliation in our state.

    “Reconciliation is a journey that should concern every member of the community. Through initiatives such as these awards, we can recognise and celebrate the true power of reconciliation,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “The Queensland Government’s commitment to reconciliation is unwavering and these awards ensure recognition goes to the real heroes doing their part for the wellbeing of Queensland’s communities.

    “If all members of our community embrace reconciliation and actively promote positive change in their every day actions, it will pave the way for a better future for Queensland.

    “I look forward to honouring and celebrating the many worthy projects and initiatives from across the state this year,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said this was an opportunity for all Queenslanders to consider what reconciliation meant to them.

    “It’s a chance to increase our understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First Nation peoples and to be proud of their culture, heritage and successes,” Mr Pitt said.

    “By recognising the work and achievements delivered across a broad community spectrum, the awards are the chance for people to nominate businesses, organisations and individuals who are creating real change and delivering innovative outcomes for all Queenslanders in regards to reconciliation.”

    In 2015, the awards acknowledged a diverse range of initiatives, including programs to support the development and safety of Indigenous youth; improve learning outcomes; foster engagement and inclusivity; increase understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history; and build audiences for sharing Indigenous stories nationally with the potential for international platform.

    2016 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador Johnathan Thurston said he wanted all businesses, community organisations, educational institutions or partnerships creating meaningful and substantive change for reconciliation in Queensland to nominate.

    “I encourage you to nominate your business, organisation or initiative actively pursuing the drive for reconciliation. Together we can create a committed and inclusive nation and make a difference for all Australians,” Mr Thurston said.

    The awards program offers a total prize pool of $25,000 across five categories: Business, Education, Community, Partnership and an overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award.

    Nominations close Monday 21 March 2016. For more information or to download a nomination form and guidelines visit or telephone 07 3003 9200.

    The Queensland Reconciliation Awards is an initiative of the Queensland Government through the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

    The awards are proudly supported by BHP Billiton, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Norton Rose Fulbright, QGC, Koori Mail and 612 ABC Brisbane and ABC Local Radio.

    Media contact: 3719 7000

    2015 Queensland Reconciliation Awards winners

    Business category:

    Brisbane Broncos for Brisbane Broncos Mentoring Program

    The Brisbane Broncos Mentoring Program extends well beyond the core business of a professional team in the National Rugby League competition.

    The program was implemented to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. It aims to provide Year 12 students at participating schools with the support, encouragement and assistance they need to complete their senior studies and transition into further study, training or employment.

    In just over four years, the program has provided the opportunity for more than 650 students from Year 12 to reach their full potential by guiding them through a range of life skills and job readiness initiatives. It has achieved remarkable results, with 75 per cent of participants moving into full-time work or study on completion of their secondary education.

    Community category:

    Act for Kids for SafeKIDS Program

    Act for Kids is an Australian charity providing free professional therapy and support services to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. The organisation currently operates five safe houses in West Cape York Peninsula (Aurukun, Napranum, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw) and South in Doomadgee, as part of the SafeKIDS Program.
    The SafeKIDS Program has 70 employees with 61 located in remote communities and 93 per cent identifying as Indigenous. SafeKIDS staff who had experienced trauma associated with issues including forced removal, participated in a program designed to help address and understand their own trauma. Through this training they are better able to provide caring, nurturing environments for children dealing with the loss associated with being removed from their homes.

    The goal of the SafeKIDS Program is to increase the ability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care to remain connected to their community and culture, and to develop the community’s capacity to provide safe and nurturing care for children who are unable to live safely at home.

    Education category:

    Bray Park State School for BRING IT ON

    The BRING IT ON project stands for Building Reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Generations through Inclusivity, Truth and trust, Opportunities and New pathways. It has established and implemented innovative and sustainable strategies to foster engagement of Indigenous students: decrease absenteeism; build pride and promote cross-cultural perceptions, knowledge and understanding around reconciliation within Bray Park State School and the wider community.

    The project has utilised elements of the arts, including music, performing and visual arts programs, targeted support, extra-curricular activities and community engagement.
    BRING IT ON is building cross-cultural knowledge, understanding and skills, improving school culture, engaging the wider community and meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of the Bray Park State School students.

    Partnership category:

    Kalwun Development Corporation and Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing for Jellurgal Cultural Centre

    Jellurgal Cultural Centre is an initiative of Kalwun Development Corporation, established through a partnership arrangement with the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.

    The cultural centre initiative is fully owned and operated by the local Aboriginal community and managed as a sustainable cultural tourism and information precinct based at the former Burleigh Head National Park Information Centre. Jellurgal is the Aboriginal name for Burleigh Headland, which was the stage for corroborees and ceremonies. It is fitting for a modern day Aboriginal cultural centre to be established at such a significant cultural site.

    The centre provides the opportunity for local, domestic and international visitors to the Gold Coast to meet the Traditional Owners; embark on educational, cultural and tourism activities; and obtain or increase their understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal history and culture on the Gold Coast.

    Premier’s Reconciliation Award

    Queensland Theatre Company and Sibelco Australia for Black Diggers

    In 2011, the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) established an Indigenous program aimed at developing and producing Indigenous work and building audiences for Indigenous stories.

    The success and profile of the QTC Indigenous Program attracted the attention of Belgian company Sibelco, who partnered with QTC to present a landmark production Black Diggers, which tells the stories of the Indigenous soldiers who served in World War I. An extraordinary all-male, all-Indigenous cast tells the story of these heroic men who were largely unrecognised by history.

    Following performances in Sydney and Brisbane, the play has received unanimous critical acclaim. Black Diggers toured nationally in early 2015 and negotiations are underway to tour the show internationally. Black Diggers has become one of QTC’s most successful productions and promotes cross-cultural understanding by telling the story of Indigenous diggers in a way that is accessible to all audiences.