Our Innovate RAP

Our Innovate RAP represents the natural next step for Vicinity in increasing respect, equality and opportunity for Indigenous Australians following the conclusion of our inaugural Reflect RAP, which was launched in 2018 to commence our reconciliation journey.

Our Reflect RAP helped us to understand and identify how Vicinity could make a positive impact on reconciliation and extend our contribution towards a more equitable, just and reconciled Australia. It gave us a greater appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, customs and history, and provided insights on what we are doing well, what we need to do better and where we need to go further.

Our Innovate RAP continues to guide Vicinity on this journey and supports our sustainability and diversity, inclusion and belonging objectives – to shape better communities and foster an inclusive workplace that celebrates difference.  It commits Vicinity to continue deepening relationships, increasing cultural awareness and connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with employment and business opportunities across our organisation.

The COVID -19 pandemic has continued to impact our ability to implement some of our Innovate RAP commitments during FY21, in particular, those commitments requiring in-person engagement

 

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Innovate RAP

Reflect RAP

with local Indigenous stakeholders and using our centres as platforms where local communities can join our celebration of important events such as National Reconciliation Week. Vicinity has welcomed a six-month extension to deliver our Innovate RAP (by November 2021), granted by Reconciliation Australia and we have begun consultation with Reconciliation Australia on the development of our next RAP to be launched in FY22.

 

Case study: Celebrating Aboriginal history and culture at Ellenbrook redevelopment

Ellenbrook Central’s (WA) expansion saw a number of initiatives supporting and celebrating the centre’s local Aboriginal history and culture, helping to deliver our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

A Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony were held by local Senior Whadjuk Marmun (man), Vaughn McGuire in September 2019, as part of our sod turn event. During the ceremony Indigenous artefacts were buried, including Darp (knives), Goorch (axes), Gidgee (spear heads) and Warangka Boorn (singing sticks) wrapped up in Koomoor/Bwoka (possum fur).

During the opening of our first stage in July 2020, a plaque was unveiled commemorating the location of the buried artefacts, signifying our acknowledgement of how the land was once used by the traditional owners and to merge the past, present and future.

The expansion of Ellenbrook Central also saw more than 500 new solar generating car park shades installed and new complimentary electric vehicle charging stations connected to the centre’s expansive rooftop solar system.

Vicinity’s Indigenous supply partner Wilco Electrical was engaged to undertake electrical work for the solar car park shades. Operational cleaning supplies for the centre are sourced from Wirrpanda Supplies. A proportion of the profits of this Indigenous-owned business are donated to the Wirrpanda Foundation, which supports young Indigenous people to complete training and transition to employment. 

Case Study: Bringing Midland Gate to life

During FY21, Midland Gate underwent an aesthetic transformation to accurately reflect its place as the ‘heart of the Midland community’. Through collaboration with the community and engaging with local and Indigenous artists, both the wall and floor space of Midland Gate has been brought to life, communicating a vibrant message. These murals show that Midland Gate is a place for connection; where customers, retailers and all community members can happily meet amidst a safe, friendly environment.

An Indigenous community mural was painted on the main escalators, through collaboration with local indigenous artist and proud Whadjuk/Balladong Nyoongar (Mother's side) and Eastern Arrernte (Father's side) woman, JD Penangke. Midland Gate is on the land of a traditional Nyoongar meeting place and has always had strong connections to Aboriginal culture, with the wider community extremely passionate about the area’s history. On one side of the escalator, JD Penangke painted a bird’s eye view of the river created by the Waugal (Rainbow Serpent) and symbols representing the journey of a leader. The Swan region is known as the home of some Nyoongar leaders, with this mural focused on leadership in more of a traditional style of painting. On the opposite side of the escalator, an eye level perspective of Whadjuk country is painted, with vibrant bush tucker and medicines featuring the Waugal’s body moving throughout the land.

Another local artist, Mikaela Miller, was commissioned to utilise wall space near one of the entry points near the Coffee Club. Drawing upon the eclectic array of local flora, Miller shows that even though the featured flora need different soil types to survive, in this mural, they connect and flourish together.

The mural engages with the ongoing ‘beautification’ of the centre; as well as communicating a message of inclusivity within the diverse trade area. Mikaela also completed a set of no-smoking decals throughout the centre to assist the ‘smoke free project’.

Case study: National Reconciliation Week 2021 at Ellenbrook central

During National Reconciliation Week, Vicinity commissioned local Indigenous artist and proud Whadjuk, Ballardong and Yamatji Aboriginal Woman, Marcia McGuire for several Works across Vicinity’s WA Portfolio. One of these brilliant pieces was titled ‘Ponar – 6 seasons’ and was featured at Ellenbrook Central. Marcia was tasked with creating a piece which represents each of the six seasons in the Nyoongar heritage, with these exceptional pieces being displayed at each of the six entrances to the shopping centre and collectively in the main mall.

 

Each of Marcia’s piece feature local flora and fauna, inspired by her ancestor’s traditional art, dreamtime stories and culture. She aims to incorporate traditional customs and designs into everyday living, so that Aboriginal culture lives on in the modern times. The six seasons featured are Birak (December – January), Bunuru (February – March), Djeran (April – May), Makuru (June – July), Djilba (August – September) and Kambarang (October – November). This six season calendar is extremely important to the Nyoongar people, as it clearly represents what nature is doing at each stage of the year, giving as an understanding and furthered respect for the land which we live on.