31 May 2021

Celebrating Reconciliation Day

Today is Reconciliation Day, a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, reflect on Australian history, and work towards achieving reconciliation. Part of National Reconciliation Week (organised by NGO Reconciliation Australia), Reconciliation Day is one of the most important days in the Australian cultural calendar.

Australia’s oil and gas industry works closely with First Nations people in communities across the country; Land Councils, Native Title holders and other relevant bodies are all closely involved with operators at every stage of the approvals process, creating socio-economic opportunities, boosting training and employment, and encouraging regional growth. 

APPEA members such as Santos, for example, work in partnership with 21 Traditional Owner Groups, four Land Councils, and have over 90 agreements in place relating to Native Title, consent and cultural heritage.

Woodside Energy meanwhile works with environmental rehabilitation group Greening Australia to collaborate on a tree-planting carbon sequestration project led by local Aboriginal ranger groups with historical knowledge of the land. The first seeds were sown in May 2020, with work set to continue to July 2021. Project partner Greening referred to Indigenous enterprises and communities as “critical enablers to the vision” of the carbon-offsetting project.

And Buru Energy has partnered with the Kimberley Training Institute (KTI) since 2013 on an environmental cadetship program for locals from the Noonkanbah and Yawuru communities in Western Australia, focusing on areas such as animal and plant surveys, restoration, fire abatement, and mapping and GPS. The program allowed Buru Energy to gain valuable knowledge of Country to further its environmental studies in close consultation with Traditional Owners. 

These are just a few of the examples espousing the values of partnership and reconciliation in the Australian oil and gas industry, which is always seeking to learn more and build trust with First Nations communities, and several APPEA member companies — including Chevron, INPEX, Woodside, KPMG, Origin, and BHP — possess Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia.

For more information about Reconciliation Day and National Reconciliation Week, visit the Reconciliation Australia website here.