The Property Council acknowledges the tens of thousands of years of continuous custodianship and placemaking by First Nations peoples and their proud role in our shared future. We thank them for their custodianship of Country – land, seas and skies.
We acknowledge the diversity of First Nations cultures, histories and peoples, and we pay our deepest respects to Elders past and present.
The Property Council encourages respectful conversations on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament as part of our enduring commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our own commitment to reconciliation is grounded in the knowledge that every building and new project sits on country that has been named and nurtured by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for tens of thousands of years.
We acknowledge the Uluru Statement from the Heart, its principals and sentiment. We recognise the Uluru Statement as an invitation to amend our Constitution to provide for the Voice.
In the lead up to the referendum, we are providing our people and industry with access to information that supports an informed individual choice, noting that this national vote will remain a matter for each Australian to decide themselves. We understand and respect that stakeholders including our members and employees will hold different views on the Voice for a wide range of reasons.
The Property Council supports the principles of the Voice and the desire of First Nations peoples to have their position heard on legislation, policy and programs that impact them. The referendum presents an opportunity to consider that direct input for the first time.
Whatever the referendum outcome, the Property Council will continue to work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for a more reconciled nation.
Launched in January 2022, our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) officially marked the beginning of the Property Council’s reconciliation journey.
Working with Reconciliation Australia, First Nations peoples, our people, our members and other partners on this Reflect RAP has enabled us to set out a clear plan of action. With the world’s oldest continuous living culture to draw upon, the property industry has immeasurable opportunities to walk side by side with First Nations peoples towards a better future. For the Property Council, this starts with listening, learning and building cultural competency so we can walk towards reconciliation in partnership with First Australians, and use our platform to encourage others to do the same.
As Australia’s largest industry, employing over 1.4 million people, the property industry can be a strong partner with First Nations people in their quest for economic empowerment, following generations of dispossession and exclusion.
Australians today are the inheritors of a rich and unbroken history of language, culture and placemaking that stretches back more than sixty millennia. Every building and every new project sits on country that has been nurtured by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for countless generations.
We have much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as our industry provides liveable, sustainable and prosperous places for all Australians. The deep connection to country of First Nations Australians should be a source of respect and celebration, and be a foundation of the industry’s reconciliation journey.
We extend our sincere thanks to Reconciliation Australia and the many First Nations people and Property Council members who have helped show us the way.
WINHANGA-DURI-NYA, meaning “reflect” – Wirjudjuri language
The artwork featured in the Property Council’s RAP was created by Lani Balzan in 2021. Lani is a proud Wiradjuri woman from the Three Rivers Tribe. Her family comes from Mudgee, but she has lived in many parts of Australia and now calls the Illawarra home.
Lani helped the Property Council to articulate a visual vision for reconciliation that reflects our reconciliation journey as we embark on our Reconciliation Action Plan. At the centre of the painting sit a series of concentric circles that Lani calls a “gathering symbol”. This represents the Property Council’s members and employees. A series of u-shaped emblems radiate from edges of the gathering symbol, conveying both male and female. “It is about people coming together,” Lani says.
Land and nature are dominant forces in the artwork – both in the physical map of Australia at the top left and in the native tree to the right. These symbols remind us that every building rests on Aboriginal land and honours the custodians who have cared for Country for millennia. The pathways to the future are represented in the footprints that cross the canvas. “While property is about cities, buildings and infrastructure, peel back the layers and look at the 60,000 years of history that exists underneath,” Lani says.
reconciliation journey with a focus on reflection
and a desire to leverage our unique relationship
with our industry.
1.3 million homes down on where we should be.* Mainly due to a lack of density in the ‘missing middle’. No wonder we need a national housing accord.
As the focus on fostering stronger connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples grows, the question arises: what does meaningful engagement entail? Melanie Grills from Arup provides insights on effectively engaging with First Nations groups.
Ros Moriarty from Balarinji guides us through her endeavours that have brought the Indigenous voice to life within some of this country’s major projects, and how others can do the same.
On Wednesday 10 May, the Path to Treaty legislation passed Queensland Parliament.