SPIRIT OF RECONCILIATION: HQP BUILDS STRONGER
LASTING RELATIONSHIPS WITH TRADITIONAL CUSTODIANS
FIRST NATIONS ENGAGEMENT FRAMEWORK OUTLINES PLANTATION GROWER’S
COMMITMENT TO MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION
RECONCILIATION is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
The theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week from May 27 to June 3 is ‘Be Brave. Make Change’, which is what HQPlantations aims to do with its First Nations Engagement Framework.
With 300,000 ha under management and 20 known First Nation Groups with Country where their plantations grow throughout Queensland, HQP has a genuine desire to build stronger, long-lasting relationships with the traditional custodians.
The First Nations Engagement Framework outlines the plantation grower’s commitment to consistent and meaningful engagements as well as sharing of knowledge and information about their operations and matters of importance with the local First Nations Groups.
The draft framework was developed by a team from HQP with Mark Annandale from Landroc Consulting and four First Nations representatives, including Tolita Dolzan, a Cobble Cobble descendant and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educator.
Ms Dolzan said the framework was a starting point for positive relationship building between HQP and the local First Nations.
“The group involved with developing the framework did so with a genuine vision to understand and respect our culture while improving communication, working relationships and protection of Country,” Ms Dolzan said.
“HQP recognises the significance of places and connections to Country are inseparable from our people, but also individual for every First Nations Group.
“This document was created with true intent to do things in ‘proper and respectful ways’ and provides a foundation for HQP and the local First Nations Groups to build on potential opportunities that are balanced and sustainable for future generations.”
Stephanie Hunt, HQP’s community engagement facilitator, led the development of the framework.
“For HQP and our people, the framework seeks to increase awareness, provide guidelines to support informed discussion and build on our capability to engage in a culturally appropriate way,” Ms Hunt said.
“For First Nation Groups, the framework provides a pathway for a growing relationship and genuine opportunities for collaboration with HQP, including providing the contacts to do so.
“It’s a hands-on document and includes sections on guiding principles, who engages, when we engage, and how we engage.”
HQP has now invited three First Nation Groups its works closely with in different areas of the state to provide feedback on the framework in June before it is finalised and presented more widely.