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Novita launches reconciliation action plan in Murray Bridge
The disability organisation has launched its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan at its Swanport Road site.
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Novita, which supports people with disability to thrive in the community, has extended its culture of inclusion through launching its first reconciliation action plan (RAP) at Novita Murray Bridge.
The launch of the Reflect RAP on Wednesday co-incided with National Reconciliation Week, with Reflect formalising Novita’s commitment to learning from and supporting the wisdom of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
At the launch, Novita president Andrew Daniels drew attention to the RAP handbook’s vibrant artwork, created by Kaurna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri man Lawson Dodd.
“His artwork is a representation of the inclusiveness of the Novita community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, coming together to support each other’s health and wellbeing,” he said.
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The RAP launch began with Rita and Michael Lindsay from the Ngarrindjeri nation performing a welcome to country and two stirring Ngarrindjeri cultural songs and dances.
Ms Lindsay mentioned that she and her dance troupe had welcomed the cast of 2019 film Storm Boy and met the pelicans used in the movie.
The pelican is a Ngarrindjeri totem, and the first song and dance the Lindsays performed at the launch was a pelican dance.
“It talks about the pelicans flying high in the sky, and we say to the pelicans, ‘We see you.’”
Novita chief operating officer Jeremy Brown said that the RAP has practical implications.
“It’s putting our commitment really firmly to the reconciliation journey, and for us that’s going to be very practical in terms of working collaboratively with Aboriginal people and organisations in the region ... and also try and increase the number of Aboriginal people employed by the organisation and leadership opportunities,” Mr Brown said.
Andrew Daniels said how a good thing about the RAP was how it included definite timelines.
“We’ve all seen terrific reports and great ideas that then just sit on the shelf, but Novita won’t do that,” he said.
“This is a living document, and it’s a journey we’re on with many, many stages, and when we get to the last stage we’ll probably need to start again and see how it goes.”
More information: www.novita.org.au.