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In our commitment to National NAIDOC Week for 2020 and the three pillars of reconciliation – relationships, respect and opportunities, Hames Sharley attended the Smoking Ceremony of its new Perth Studio, located on Hay Street Mall in the CBD.

The Smoking Ceremony, performed by Noel Morich from the Yunga Foundation, was held on the site of the redevelopment, which is due for completion in early 2021.

With the theme for NAIDOC Week ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ for 2020; the Smoking Ceremony acknowledges the spiritual and cultural connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have to this country.

This Smoking Ceremony coincides with the start of Hames Sharley’s own Reconciliation Journey as we enter into the final stages of formulating our Reconciliation Action Plan. This Reconciliation Action Plan sets out the steps to establish meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Hames Sharley’s commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Alex Quin, a member of Hames Sharley’s RAP committee, said the smoking ceremony, conducted by local Wadyuk Noongyar men, provided a more meaningful connection to place and signified the inclusion, diversity and collaboration with First Australians. He believes this reflects Hames Sharley’s core vision for enabling communities to flourish.

“One by one we all washed in the smoke from the burning Balga Bush (grass tree) and Wannil (Peppermint Tree) – The Balga smoke warded off the bad spirits, and the Wannil smoke welcomed in the good spirits. This cleansing of our bodies, minds and our future Perth studio reminded me of the respect deserved of knowledge custodians, particularly custodians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge; and its critical importance to any meaningful connection to place.

”Hames Sharley acknowledges the critical importance of developing meaningful personal and professional relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, along with the broader industry to achieve a united Australian community based on truth, knowledge and understanding.

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 or 1606 - with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples.

“It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country, which is Australian history. NAIDOC wants all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty was never ceded,” says Alex. NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.

Always Was, Always Will Be.