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Reflections from Nguluway DesignInc and DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week Panel

The panel at Nguluway DesignInc and DesignInc Sydney’s event encouraged industry professionals to prioritise reconciliation through education, collaboration and inclusive practices.

Reflections from Nguluway DesignInc and DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week Panel

Last month, Nguluway DesignInc Sydney hosted an event in honour of National Reconciliation Week, aligning with this year’s theme: Now More Than Ever. The evening drew over 150 industry professionals, including architects and designers, to the Nguluway DesignInc Sydney studio on Gadigal Country. The event was designed to nurture dialogue and deepen connections within the built environment industry regarding reconciliation efforts.

The discussions stressed the importance of integrating Indigenous knowledge and leadership into architectural and design practices and the panel talking to the topics included notable speakers: Aunty Barb Simms, a La Perouse Aboriginal Elder; Clarence Bruinsma of Bush to Bowl; Michael Manikas of DLG SHAPE; and Craig Kerslake, Managing Director of Nguluway DesignInc.

DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week

Craig Kerslake spoke about the role of Indigenous-led incubators in advancing reconciliation within the industry. He talked about the importance of supporting Indigenous businesses such as Bush to Bowl, which employ Indigenous staff and provide opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to gain skills grounded in cultural practices. Kerslake advocated for increasing the number of First Nations architects through strong mentorship and Indigenous pastoral care.

Ian Armstrong, DesignInc Sydney Director and RAP Champion stressed the importance of listening to First Nations voices and understanding the world through their lens. “Reconciliation is about listening to First Nations people and we are fortunate to have Craig show us how to start to understand looking at the world through a First Nations lens and helping us build relationships with such great Indigenous community leaders,” he says. “We had fantastic speakers, a fantastic turnout, and I think everyone left the event with a greater understanding of the culture, history and achievements of Indigenous people.”

Related: The winning concept for AKIN at Barangaroo

The event underscored the architecture and design industry’s privileged position to contribute to reconciliation. By educating themselves about local histories, listening to local Elders and building trusting relationships, professionals can create a more informed, inclusive and accurately curated built environment that champions reconciliation.

Nguluway DesignInc

Francesco Camillo, DesignInc Sydney

DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week
DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week
DesignInc Sydney’s National Reconciliation Week

More on Indigenous design with the Ngurra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct Competition

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