Building strong and lasting relationships with our customers, our communities and our people has always been a key part of the culture at Coates Hire. Today, we made an exciting first step in our journey towards creating meaningful and respectful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with the launch of our inaugural ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Sydney.
The plan provides a framework for Coates Hire to support the National Reconciliation movement. “As an Australian-owned organisation, we must ensure our business reflects our diverse society, honours the place of our first peoples and, most importantly, contributes in a practical way to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” said Murray Vitlich, CEO of Coates Hire.
Special guests at the launch, held at our Moorebank branch and livestreamed to employees across the country, included representatives of the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC); Reconciliation Australia, the country’s lead body for reconciliation; and the Clontarf Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that supports the education of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Eddie Betts, a proud Wirangu/Kokatha/Guburn man, AFL legend and Coates Hire ambassador, recorded a special video message from his Melbourne home.
In addition, Ryan Stokes, Chairman of Coates Hire and CEO and Managing Director of Seven Group Holdings, announced a three-year partnership with the Clontarf Foundation. Our investment – matched by Federal and State governments – will enable 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to participate in Clontarf’s nationwide program for the next three years, including many in communities where both Clontarf Academies and Coates Hire branches co-exist.
To bring our RAP to life, we engaged artist Jade Kennedy of the Tatti-Tatti/Wadi-Wadi/Muddi-Muddi - West Kulin Nation and Wajak/Kaardjin - Noongar Nation to create a bespoke artwork. In a video shown at the launch, Jade explained the inspiration behind his piece, titled ‘Kengatha Kathiwatha Kathini’ (‘To grow, flowing water’).
Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, our RAP is built around four key themes – relationships, respect, opportunities and governance. Key targets include:
Having celebrated this significant milestone in our 135-year history, now the work begins to create real change. Stay tuned for more information as we embark on this important journey together.
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