2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards announced

Published Wednesday, 03 June, 2020 at 11:03 AM

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

The Premier has announced this year’s 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards winners and congratulated the 16 awards finalists for their dedication and commitment to reconciliation across Queensland.

The awards are held as part of National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June).

The Premier said a construction company focusing on Indigenous training and employment, a memorial garden honouring the First Nations Peoples, and the team responsible for an 80-metre screen project depicting the First Nation oral histories are among this year’s recipients.

“The strength and diversity of the initiatives honoured through these awards is a true indication of the support for reconciliation across the State,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“While an awards ceremony couldn’t be held this year, it’s important we still recognise the winners and finalists for their significant contributions and their achievements, which are inspiring others along the pathway to greater inclusivity.”

“These awards are a valuable opportunity for voices to be heard, and for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders to appreciate and acknowledge our shared history.”

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre Ltd was named the winner of the Premier’s Reconciliation Award for its initiative Screens share Aboriginal history to support reconciliation.

“This wonderful initiative showcases the benefits of approaching reconciliation as a community. It focused on the First Nations Peoples and the trauma experienced in their lifetime, a platform for true reconciliation and a healing process for the community,” the Premier said.

“The Indigenous Wellbeing Centre has acknowledged the importance and sensitivities of the past through a piece of art, and also opened a platform for discussion, not just within the Bundaberg community, but across Queensland.

“I want to congratulate the centre for its commitment to engaging the local community, acknowledging our history and valuing the knowledge of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

In other categories, Hutchinson Builders was named winner of the Business category for its Statim Yaga (Start Work) program, which focusses on Indigenous training and employment.

Beulah Community Limited, which established the First People’s Memorial Garden and War Memorial and a Frontier Wars installation featuring artworks by several local First Peoples artists, took out the Community category award.

Eidsvold P–12 State School was the winner of the Education category for Yumbin means ‘All of us’, an initiative to link students, teachers and the wider community through health, wellbeing and a focus on building cultural capacity.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Kids in Action program, in partnership with Jinibara Aboriginal Corporation and Gubbi Gubbi Dance, was the winner of the Partnership category.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford congratulated the award recipients.

“Reconciliation is the responsibility of all Queenslanders and through these awards we continue to acknowledge and honour the positive actions taken towards closing the gap,” Minister Crawford said.

“The excellence displayed by businesses, community groups and educational institutions does not go unnoticed, especially during these unprecedented times. I thank every nomination for their continued commitment to reconciliation.” 

The winning projects across the categories of business, community, education, partnership and the Premier’s Reconciliation Award will receive a share of $25,000 in prize money.

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. For further information, visit: www.qld.gov.au/reconciliation.

2020 Queensland Reconciliation Award winners

Premier’s Reconciliation Award

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre Ltd for Screens share Aboriginal history to support reconciliation

The Indigenous Wellbeing Centre (IWC) is an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation committed to reconciliation in action. Forty per cent of IWC’s staff are Indigenous, and 93 per cent of the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access IWC services and programs. In 2017, IWC started to build Stage 2 of its health and wellbeing complex in Bundaberg, featuring window screening that allow images to be displayed.

IWC created an 80 metre-long pictorial depiction of First Nation oral histories. The screens project was undertaken with the First Nation Traditional Owners and Elders of the region and the Taribelang Cultural Aboriginal Corporation. A local artist created 11 paintings that were copied to become weatherproof aluminium screening, able to be lit at night.

Business category

Hutchinson Builders for Statim Yaga (Start Work)

In 2012, during its 100th anniversary, Hutchinson Builders employed a dedicated Indigenous specialist with the aim of introducing the company to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to engage and work with the communities in a respectful manner. This has evolved to become the Statim Yaga, or Start Work program, which focusses on Indigenous training and employment while increasing the cultural capability of the broader organisation. Since its launch, Statim Yaga has increased the company’s Indigenous workforce, placed 411 Indigenous workers into construction careers, and spent more than $25 million in contracts with Queensland Indigenous businesses.

Community category

Beulah Community Limited

Beulah Community Limited established the First People's Memorial Garden in 2009 in response to a request from a First Nations People's health provider to partake in Sorry Business and install memorial plaques at Beulah's centre in Buderim Forest Nature Refuge. Paths, sitting places and artworks by various local Indigenous artists have been steadily added.

A First People and Islanders’ War Memorial was installed in 2015, and in 2017 a Frontier Wars Installation featuring artworks by several local First People artists was built. A statue of the local resistance leader, Dundalli, was added in 2018. Annual gatherings are held on Anzac Day to remember Frontier Wars, on 5 January to remember Dundalli and on Elders Day to remember the local Elders.

Education category

Eidsvold P–12 State School for Yumbin means ‘All of us’

Eidsvold P12 State School's Yumbin program began as an initiative to link students, teachers and the wider community together through health, wellbeing and an explicit focus on building cultural capability. With the support of teachers, the P&C community and the local Elders group, the Yumbin program was implemented across the school from the start of 2017. The Yumbin philosophy has continued to grow rapidly. Over the past three years the school has set up a full P12 language reclamation program, shown a dramatic increase in community and school relationships, been a lighthouse school for positive behaviour for learning, transformed into a Queensland showcase school and hired local Indigenous staff to be involved in all aspects of student learning.

Partnership category

Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation and Gubbi Gubbi Dance for Kids in Action Program

Sunshine Coast Council’s Kids in Action (KIA) program was created to encourage young people to become future custodians of the natural environment. Funded by the council’s environmental levy and local businesses, KIA partners with many local community groups and is offered to all Sunshine Coast schools.

Jinibara and Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi First Nations community members partnered with the KIA program to deliver a program underpinned by ecological knowledge, language and cultural practice, connecting to country and celebrating nature's icons. In a true act of reconciliation, partnerships were strengthened, respectful and reciprocal relationships embraced, and a commitment to ongoing opportunities for shared learning and understanding fostered.


Media contacts:

Premier’s Office – Zoe Russell 0439 982 347