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Nov
05th

Embarking on our Reconciliation Journey

by Michael Taranto, Director

For about a year I’ve had a feeling of anticipation for the true start of QED’s reconciliation journey.

We had a prologue in 2019, hosting an intern science graduate who is a Whadjuk woman. This led to more concrete steps in 2020 of forming our RAP Working Group and liaising with Reconciliation Australia to have our RAP ratified in October 2020.

By more good fortune than planning, this coincided with Ann Hunter joining our team for training in the services QED provides to customers.

Ann was introduced to us by Dave Crooks of MPS, who is a crusader for aboriginal people and is opening up employment opportunities for them. He thought (and he was right) that Ann is a fast learner with an enthusiastic can-do attitude, who could, over a couple of months, become proficient in some of QED’s fundamental on-site procedures.

Why are we investing in Ann’s training?

First, it’s responding to what’s in front of me – Dave Crooks presented someone who might benefit from involvement with our team and the best answer was – yes, we’ll give it a go!

Helping one person may not change the world, it’s not a scalable solution to reconciling Australia, but it’s a start and a contribution.

Secondly, it’s a growth opportunity for our business.

As an apprentice HVAC technician with Minbaringu Services, Ann will be located in the far north west of WA, where the QED team travels a few times a year for large jobs, but finds it difficult to respond to customer needs for smaller or urgent jobs.

Through QED’s evolving relationship with Minbaringu (more on that to come in 2021), and Ann’s working location in the north west, our services are now more accessible to regional customers.

We hope that Ann, having experienced training at QED, will be able to recommend another apprentice or two to undertake the same training – we will be delighted if it leads to this outcome in the future.

I’d like to congratulate Ann on the way she’s approached this initiative. She’s a brave woman, making a mid-career change and it feels good that she’s placed her trust in me. I’m sure Dave Crooks feels the same.

After her first week at QED, Ann told me that as a younger woman she might have run away after being in a strange office environment, being challenged to learn new skills, particularly on the computer. She told me she surprised herself that didn’t happen. I think she’s had a few similar surprises lately as her confidence grows.

With Ann’s involvement in our team, we’ve had a dream start to QED’s reconciliation journey. I’m certain the road won’t always be so smooth and straight, but like Ann we have enthusiasm for the task, courage to face challenges, and an eye on the main game – to realise the vision for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

If you would like to read our RAP in more detail, please click here.


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