Our reconciliation journey

GML has long been committed to developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nations cultures, histories and heritage together with First Nations communities.

We launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in May 2023. Developing a RAP gave us an opportunity to reflect on our work with First Nations people and how we might grow stronger relationships through expanded connections and enhanced collaborative opportunities.

To provoke an honest reckoning with our nation’s historical narratives, we chose a compelling work by contemporary First Nations artist Tony Albert from his ‘You Wreck Me’ series for our RAP cover.

What have we achieved and what have we learnt?

Under our first RAP, GML has engaged with reconciliation and with First Nations communities in a range of ways involving all our staff in the journey.

We developed a Statement of Commitment and Practice to guide our staff in supporting and working with First Nations people. We also created a guide to First Nations Cultural Protocols to better support staff in ensuring First Nations rights and interests are respected. We reviewed and updated our First Nations Hub, an online resource that helps staff connect with and learn about First Nations peoples’ history, heritage, knowledge and cultures. The hub provides best practice guidance on First Nations heritage conservation, management and community engagement.

We implemented cultural competence training for all our staff and have provided opportunities for informal learning through activities. This has included walks on Country, talks, tours, weaving and film screenings to build cultural awareness. At each staff meeting we take turns in sharing updates about things that we have participated in or seen to encourage everyone to continually reflect and share. That might be attending a protest march, visiting an exhibition, seeing a cultural performance, listening to a talk, or reading a piece of First Nations writing.

In partnership with the Museums of History NSW, the Research Centre for Deep History at ANU and the University of Sydney, we host the First Nations Speaker Series to elevate First Nations voices. We continue to advocate for the awareness and inclusion of First Nations history and the recognition and integration of First Nations cultural values into heritage projects.


Smoking ceremony with Rowena Welsh-Jarrett at GML’s Sydney headquarters.


Recently GML staff gathered to watch a screening of the documentary ‘Freedom Ride’, about the bus journey undertaken by a group of Sydney University students in 1965, led by Charles Perkins, to bring to the attention of the public the extent of racial discrimination in Australia. The documentary captures a pivotal moment in history and serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to uphold the rights and interests of First Nations peoples.

The Voice to Parliament referendum demonstrated that ‘now more than ever’ we must strengthen our efforts to promote reconciliation. There is still much to be done and we are currently finalising our second Reconciliation Action Plan to strengthen our efforts.