Be Brave, Make Change

This National Reconciliation Week, our dedicated team have identified how the theme, ‘Be Brave, Make Change’ helps us be bolder in our actions towards achieving reconciliation.

Says Leah Tepper, Senior Consultant and Archaeologist – ‘I make change by challenging old patterns of thinking – we are working alongside Indigenous people and on Country, we need to be to be respectful and recognise the Western paradigm we are working from. We need to engage meaningfully, not just do the bare minimum’.

Says Dr Tim Owen, Principal ‘I make change by identifying intangible values, linked with larger cultural landscapes. Understanding and conservation of holistic landscapes often provides an ability for First Nations peoples to reconnect with their places, cultural practices and traditions.

In the context of projects such as new urban development, First Nations communities often reconnect with their traditions, only to have this connection impacted by the new land use. A cultural landscape approach can provide the community with opportunities to identify intangible values and develop meaningful conservation, allowing them future access to places post land use changes’.

Says Martin Rowney, Principal ‘I make change by encouraging staff in many Commonwealth agencies to genuinely embrace the idea of consulting with First Nations peoples when dealing with Indigenous heritage values. In the past, assessing and managing Indigenous heritage values under the EPBC Act was often put in the ‘too hard basket’ by our clients. Over time, through GML’s work on Commonwealth Heritage Management Plans we have opened a genuine dialogue with First Nations people about identifying, assessing and managing their cultural heritage values’.

Says Charlotte Feakins, Associate ‘I make change in my work, by employing co-design principles and best practice standards to ensure First Nations people’s voices are heard at all stages of a project and that their culture and heritage, tangible and intangible, is recognised and respected’.