Stories

Lendlease Learns Desert Knowledge

Mar 25, 2018

Services: Desert Leadership, Desert Knowledge Precinct, DKA Solar Centre

Lendlease immerses in Central Australia and creates new opportunities

Key exec­u­tives from Lendlease trav­elled to Cen­tral Aus­tralia for three days of knowl­edge and cul­ture expe­ri­ences and col­lab­o­ra­tive work­shops host­ed by DKA and its partners. 

Eleven rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Syd­ney-based inter­na­tion­al prop­er­ty and infra­struc­ture group arrived in Alice Springs in March to tour the Desert Knowl­edge Precinct, includ­ing vis­its to Batch­e­lor Insti­tute of Indige­nous Ter­tiary Edu­ca­tion, Cen­tre for Appro­pri­ate Tech­nol­o­gy, the DKA Solar Cen­tre, and host organ­i­sa­tion DKA, fol­lowed by a sun­set din­ner with some of the lead­ing lights of Alice Springs. 

Dur­ing their vis­it, guests par­tic­i­pat­ed in cul­tur­al expe­ri­ences that includ­ed bush tuck­er tast­ing and an intro­duc­tion to Arrernte cul­ture led by Deanel­la Mack from Cul­tur­al Con­nec­tions NT, as well as a bush trip to Black Tank, an out­sta­tion 90km north of Alice Springs where Tyson Car­mody and his fam­i­ly shared their sto­ries and cul­ture. Tyson wel­comed the group to Black Tank with a smok­ing cer­e­mo­ny and gen­er­ous­ly shared knowl­edge about coun­try, bush tuck­er, bush med­i­cine and the kin­ship system. 

Back at the Precinct, DKA pro­gram man­ag­er Michael Lid­dle pre­sent­ed to guests on Codes 4 Life, an inno­v­a­tive work­shop for Abo­rig­i­nal men. Michael is an Arrernte and Alyawarre man who, in con­sul­ta­tion with his Elders has devel­oped a work­shop that he describes as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to reset the Abo­rig­i­nal­i­ty” of Abo­rig­i­nal men who have lost their way. Draw­ing com­par­isons between the rules of AFL and West­ern and Abo­rig­i­nal law, Codes 4 Life pro­vides a space for Abo­rig­i­nal men to dis­cuss their con­nec­tion to cul­ture, chal­lenges in life and to plan their path back to their fam­i­lies and society. 

DKA led dis­cus­sions regard­ing the unique con­sid­er­a­tions nec­es­sary when work­ing in Cen­tral Aus­tralia with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and organ­i­sa­tions. Nav­i­gat­ing busi­ness pro­to­cols along­side Abo­rig­i­nal pro­to­cols is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to make pow­er­ful new sto­ries in Cen­tral Aus­tralia. By work­ing togeth­er we can devel­op new ways of work­ing that con­tribute to the eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Island businesses.

The knowl­edge gained from this expe­ri­ence will assist Lendlease to strength­en pro­to­cols sur­round­ing prac­tices of engage­ment with Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander busi­ness­es. Lendlease are demon­strat­ing strong lead­er­ship in seek­ing to deep­en their under­stand­ing of Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures and com­mit­ting to the devel­op­ment of strong rela­tion­ships with Abo­rig­i­nal organ­i­sa­tions. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing Lendlease back to Cen­tral Aus­tralia and con­tin­u­ing our part­ner­ship as we work to strength­en region­al and remote communities.

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