Wagga Wagga locals help employees better understand Aboriginal culture

5 JUNE 2017

Roads and Maritime Services Chief Executive Ken Kanofski has congratulated three Wagga Wagga residents, who have graduated from a NSW Government mentoring program designed to create greater understanding of Aboriginal culture in the workplace.

Mr Kanofski said Kylie Bray, Paul Billingham and Rodney Simpson were among seven Roads and Maritime Services staff who graduated from a program which aims to provide leaders and managers a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and people.

“The program forms part of a Transport for NSW initiative to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace across all transport agencies,” Mr Kanofski said. 

“Roads and Maritime is committed to building a culturally safe and supportive environment for current and future Aboriginal employees.

“The NSW Government is also committed to attracting more Aboriginal people into our workforce and supporting them through a range of learning and development opportunities.

“Building a diverse and inclusive culture results in better customer service, increased productivity and more staff engagement.

“From an individual perspective, you get diversity of thought, innovation and new ways of thinking.”

Ms Bray, a project engineer, said the program was highly beneficial.

“This has been a great opportunity to both learn from my mentor and share my cultural experience,” Ms Bray said.                                               

Mr Simpson, a project officer working on Aboriginal programs, said he was proud of his heritage and pleased to be able to spend time sharing his experiences with other Aboriginal staff members across the Transport sector.

“The mentoring program is a wonderful innovation which allows Aboriginal culture to be shared amongst a new audience,” Mr Simpson said.

“It is not only a great experience to learn from mentors, but to teach them about diversity.”

Mr Billingham, a regulatory program auditor, said the program made him realise how supported he was in the work environment.

“This program has given me the confidence to become a leader not only within transport but within my local community, promoting diversity and inclusion by sharing my story,” Mr Billingham said.

The graduates were congratulated by Mr Kanofski during National Reconciliation Week, a national celebration of Aboriginal culture between 27 May and 3 June.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum to include Aboriginal people in the census and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.

Mr Kanofski said National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Media:  ROADS AND MARITIME SERVICES MEDIA UNIT 9462 6299 media@rms.nsw.gov.au

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Pictured (l-r) are Paul, Kylie and Rodney.
Pictured (l-r) are Paul, Kylie and Rodney.
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