WHAT DOES NAIDOC WEEK MEAN TO DANNY FRANKS?

Since the launch of our first Reconciliation Action Plan in2019, we have been celebrating NAIDOC Week each year. NAIDOC Week is a great occasion to celebrate and recognise the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is also an opportunity for all of us to continue our learning about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

This year’s theme is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ a great reminder to speak up and not lose momentum for change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights.

To discuss the importance of NAIDOC Week, we met with Glad Indigenous’ Client Services Manager, Danny Franks, a proud Wonnarua man who joined Glad in early 2022. We asked him a few questions around the importance of NAIDOC Week and what it means to him.

 

Interview with Danny Franks

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

“NAIDOC Week is seven days out of the year when our country comes together to celebrate the richness and resilience of my people. It is an opportunity for people of all levels of society to interact in traditional lore and ceremony, to feel a part of my culture and pay their respects in a genuinely engaging and meaningful manner. In a corporate culture, we often get lost in building transactional relationships with Blak Businesses. This is a celebration and an opportunity to empower our Indigenous workforce and their families. We show them that we value their perspectives and recognise their continued connection to this land.”

 

This year’s theme for NAIDOC Week is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’, how does this theme inspire you?

“Every NAIDOC Week’s theme resonates with me personally in one way or another. This is because these phrases are coined from an Indigenous person’s perspectives. The phrases used during NAIDOC are targeted at all of us, Koori’s*, and used to lobby and empower our people to create change in everything we do. ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ is about fronting up. It is about taking responsibility in your actions, accepting accountability, and showing up during life’s hard lessons. These themes are used to provoke thought and summarise the overall sentiments of the indigenous business sector.”

 

How can Glad Indigenous drive change and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s rights?

“Glad Indigenous is poised to perform as a market leader in the facilities management space. This creates a sphere of influence with our external stakeholders. By operating in a diligent manner and achieving preferred contractor status with our customers, Glad Indigenous can build positive brand recognition and drive brand alignment with other corporations that take reconciliation seriously.

Companies can positively influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in which they have operations by offering employment pathways and mentorships programs. One of the most inspiring elements of my role as a Client Services Manager is having the ability to co-design methods, systems and processes that put indigenous perspectives at the forefront of how we do business.

Everything I do within Glad Indigenous is to ensure that this company benefits my people. This is not an individual effort. Real change comes from the top and at the community level. I want Koori’s to see the Glad Indigenous logo and know that this is a beacon for employment opportunities and economic participation.”

 

How will you be celebrating NAIDOC Week this year?

“By working for and building a company that respects my culture and history. When I come to work, I do it for my family. That to me is worth celebrating.”

 

*Koori is a demonym for Aboriginal Australians from a region that corresponds to southern New South Wales and Victoria.

 

About the artist behind the NAIDOC 2022 poster

Ryhia Dank, a young Gudanji/Wakaja artist from the Northern Territory is the winner of the prestigious National NAIDOC poster competition for 2022with her entry, Stronger.

Ryhia said: “I created this piece after reading this year’s National NAIDOC Week theme – Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! I knew straight away I wanted to do a graphic piece centred around our flags with text highlighting what we have been through and are still fighting for” said Ryhia. “I feel that this piece being black and white allows us to focus on the details and messages in the artwork”.

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