(Jeffery Samuels, pictured above, in front of his artwork at ICC Sydney)
International Convention Centre Sydney is celebrating the contributions and achievements of Australia’s First Nations people during National Reconciliation Week, which runs May 27-June 3 and commemorates the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum and historic Mabo High Court decision in 1992.
Throughout the week, ICC Sydney will display a series of First Nations artworks across its 19 digital blades to welcome visitors in acknowledgment of the 2019 theme, Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage. This is in addition to the permanent artwork by renowned Aboriginal artist Jeffery Samuels, titled Gadigal, Acknowledgement Respect, which is on display across all main entry points of the venue and across the precinct to officially welcome visitors to ICC Sydney and the Tumbalong precinct.
Internally, the venue’s team members will also come together to learn about shared histories, cultures and traditions at an interactive workshop featuring guest speakers, traditional dances and ceremonies and native produce.
ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy says practicing reconciliation is of utmost importance to the venue which stands and operates on Tumbalong, the land of the Gadigal clan of the Eora Nation.
“Less than 12 months ago, we were the first convention center in Australia to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan. Since its introduction, we’ve provided cultural education training for team members in partnership with Eora College and launched a pre-employment program to provide work experience and a pathway to employment for First Nations students,” Donaghy says.
“This is just the start and we are focused on continuing to put our intentions into practice in order to learn, share and grow, building respectful relationships between the broader community, international visitors and First Nations people.”
Donaghy says that ICC Sydney is inviting its clients, partners and community to collectively build a reconciled Australia through its dedicated First Nations Legacy Program stream.
“There are many opportunities to incorporate authentic First Nations engagement into an event at ICC Sydney. For example, hosting First Nation cultural precinct tours, arranging official Welcome to County and smoking ceremonies with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, scheduling cultural performances from the likes of the KARI Foundation or featuring an art exhibition. At the IMC19 (International Microscopy Congress) last year, First Nations artists were even engaged to interpret scientific cell images.”
Donaghy concludes, “Our vision for reconciliation is one where collaboration and partnership fosters greater inclusion of Australia’s First People’s from across Sydney, New South Wales and Australia. We will continue to work towards this vision and encourage our clients, partners and visitors to be part of the journey.”
ICC Sydney is Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment destination. The showcase international venue underpins Sydney’s place as one of the world’s most desirable meeting and major events destinations. ICC Sydney is the epicenter of a 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour by the NSW Government to highlight Sydney as the first choice in Australia and the Asia Pacific region for the major events industry. ICC Sydney is operated by globally acclaimed venue manager AEG Ogden. For more info, visit iccsydney.com.