Social Futures celebrates NAIDOC Week by listening to First Nations’ Voices

Written byChristine Tondorf
Published on30 Jun, 2022
David Jedrzejczyk, Michele Laurie And Gina Saunders

The not-for-profit organisation, Social Futures, now has its own Aboriginal advisory panel and is calling on other organisations to follow its lead this NAIDOC week.

Social Futures Manager of Aboriginal Leadership, Michele Laurie says an inhouse Aboriginal and Torres Strait advisory panel can show an organisation how to best serve the needs of First Nations people.

“When organisations genuinely serve the needs of Aboriginal communities, then we are one step closer to closing the gap, we are taking real action to end disadvantage among First Nations people,” she said.

Ms Laurie said the new Aboriginal advisory panel was authentically part of Social Futures’ decision-making process.

“The panel members report directly to the board and the upper management. Our voices are heard,” she said.

“This is such a great example of an organisation stepping aside and creating space for Aboriginal Australians to step in.

“This ensures we follow principals of ally ship and Aboriginal cultural ways of working, and creating genuine opportunities.”

Ms Laurie said Social Futures six panel members represent Bundjalung, Yaegl, Ngemba, Gilaki, Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri Countries.

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said his organisation was proud to announce the creation of the new Aboriginal advisory panel during NAIDOC Week, which runs from Friday, 1 July to Sunday, 10 July with the theme, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

“This theme shows how important it is to maintain momentum for change,” Mr Davies said. “And at Social Futures, we want genuine consultation with First Nations community members.

“But it’s up to all of us to continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for real change in areas such as cultural and heritage protections, constitutional change, truth-telling, and stopping racism.”

PHOTO: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Panel members David Jedrzejczyk, Michele Laurie and Gina Saunders