The first event of 2022 was held on 17 February, a session on Creating Culturally Safe Leadership, generously hosted by Jaymee Beveridge, Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre at UOW. The LIP sat outside in a circle and Jaymee explained that in Indigenous culture this is considered the right way to communicate, everyone can see each other, everyone’s voice is important and can be heard.
Jaymee asked the group to share one by one what their organisation does to advance Indigenous peoples issues and add any personal experiences. There were some interesting insights shared and a wide range of policies being adopted in different Illawarra businesses, from no specific actions to fully implemented Reconciliation Action Plans.
Jaymee challenged the group to think about the micro and macro picture and how they could make change. Leaders often fall into the categories of those who want to maintain the status quo, those who are fearful of getting it wrong and so don’t take any action and those who are change agents who say “let’s do it” and take needed steps forward. Discussion followed on new ideas that could be implemented, initiatives LIP members can personally advocate for at work and in the community.
Jaymee explained that the guiding principle “You can’t be what you can’t see” is frequently used to inspire and foster new initiatives. LIP were encouraged to think about where else Indigenous youth can be encouraged and inspired, eg. internships, careers talks, sporting opportunities. There are opportunities for each of us. All participants received a copy of the WIC’s publication You can’t say that! Hints and Tips, a useful terminology guide.
Special thanks to Carlie Sulter who concluded the event with a personal and heart-felt vote of thanks for Jaymee that inspired us all.
About Jaymee & Woolyungah:
Blog posts written by the Leadership Illawarra Program Cohort.