Sunshine Private Hospital hosts smoking ceremony for NAIDOC Week
Built and Australian Unity have reinforced their joint commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement as part of the Sunshine Private Hospital development with a traditional Smoking Ceremony and cultural performance held to mark NAIDOC Week in July this year.
The event brought together stakeholders from across the spectrum including Brimbank Mayor, Councillor Ranka Rasic and Councillors, senior teams for Built and Australian Unity, project consultants and the hospital community to demonstrate respect and celebrate the culture of the Traditional Custodians of Sunshine, the Wurundjeri People.
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation conducted the ceremony to spiritually cleanse the site ahead of major construction over the next year. The ceremony also included a traditional dance performance by Melbourne-based dance group Koorie Youth Will Shake Spears.
Built National Director, Ross Walker said events like the smoking ceremony on the site of what will be the new Sunshine Private Hospital are important to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their continuing connection to this land.
“It’s also a great opportunity to better educate and engage our teams and project partners in the importance of reconciliation and to motivate us all to consider what social impact we can create throughout this project to provide pathways for direct and indirect employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.
General Manager – Healthcare Property at Australian Unity, Chris Smith said Australian Unity together with the team at Built will look to positively engage with key partners and stakeholders including contractors and sub-contractors for the Sunshine Private Hospital development, to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the ability to participate in pathways to employment, and training. With Built we will also look to support Indigenous business capability through economic development and procurement channels, as well as seek input through consultation with community leaders and organisations.
Throughout the Sunshine Private Hospital project, Built will also be looking at additional opportunities for local community benefit and engagement. At its peak there will be 180 local jobs created from the project including training opportunities for new apprentices and construction graduates.