November 11, 2020
NAIDOC week has always been a week of reflection, connection and a celebration of the achievements, culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Being Aboriginal, we do this all year round, however, NAIDOC week is an opportunity to showcase our wonderful and diverse culture with the broader community.
This year’s theme Always Was. Always Will Be. is a clear statement that acknowledges the longest living culture in the world. It highlights the reliance and strength we as a community have and our ability to move forward as one.
After a tough year battling the pandemic and starting our new business, NAIDOC week is an opportunity to pause, reflect, reconnect and celebrate our wins.
Since we launched this business in February this year, we’ve worked across a range of construction projects and sectors with Tier 1 and 2 contractors in and around Melbourne. We’ve been awarded 21 projects and completed 15 which is an achievement we’re proud of, thanks to our dedicated, hard-working team.
We started with 3 Aboriginal employees and we’ve grown to a team of 18. To realise the ambition of providing meaningful and sustainable careers to Aboriginal people and seeing the direct impact it’s had on our staff is incredibly rewarding.
“Our mandate is unambiguous. Our commitment is to provide meaningful careers to Aboriginal people. I take great pride in our employees’ ability to perform tasks from start to finish with high quality, both in performance and in a highly compliant safety environment. I also get immense satisfaction seeing individuals purchasing their first home or a new car as a direct result of fulltime, sustainable employment and the financial independence that follows.” says managing director Hayden Heta.
Hayden shared his success story with Symal staff over a morning tea in celebration of NAIDOC week. His goal from the beginning was to share his knowledge and build a supportive community that inspired and motivated Aboriginal people to do and be more. Together with Symal he has done just that and forged a pathway for real change in the construction industry where Aboriginal people are not only accepted but can thrive.
Hayden adds, “I don’t want to hold onto what I know – I want to share everything I have experienced and learnt and pass it on. Then we can continue to share, celebrate and embrace our cultural identity with the industry together.”
There are many ways to get involved in NAIDOC week. Search for a local community event near you, enjoy a cuppa with an Elder, or find out more about the respective Traditional Owners of your area.
To learn more about NAIDOC week, check out the resources available on the NAIDOC website.
Celebrations across Australia are being held from the 8-15 November.