The Y NSW acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we come together to learn, share and grow. As the earth’s most ancient culture, we respect their historical and continuing spiritual connections to country. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for they hold the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices in their hands. We believe in the power of inspired young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Inclusion, connection and wellbeing are at the core of who we are as an organisation, and our vision is for a community where every person thrives in body, mind and spirit. I am proud to present our first RAP, a crucial and meaningful commitment to take practical action toward reconciliation. Our Reflect RAP acknowledges with honesty and humility what we don’t know and pledges to seek to understand and celebrate the rich cultures of our First Nations peoples.
Reconciliation is an unfinished business and I am honoured to lead our team as we commit to a year of listening and learning, and build the foundations for this and successive RAPs. With the full support of our passionate Board of Directors and our Executive Leadership Team, we will lead our people bravely as we incorporate our RAP actions into the everyday running of our organisation. We know that making a positive difference relies on providing every person with a future of opportunity. To this end, I am very hopeful that this process will also enrich the inclusive working environment I am honoured to be part of at the Y NSW.
I want to thank Two Point Co., the First Nations-owned and operated consultancy, for their guidance throughout this process and our broader team of Y employees who have been instrumental in sharing their views and ideas to help shape our RAP. I would also like to congratulate the People and Culture team and the RAP Working Group for achieving this most significant milestone, and I look forward to working together to bring our RAP actions to life.
Although our RAP defines our actions for the coming 12 months, I would like to emphasise that this is just the beginning of our ongoing commitment to an ongoing journey of understanding, celebration and meaningful action.
Young people represent hope, and where there is hope, there is possibility. Positive social change in society and our communities depends on our ability to inspire, engage and listen, and that’s what we wholeheartedly intend to do with our first Reflect RAP.
Susannah Le Bron
Chief Executive Officer
Cooper Thompson is a young Wiradjuri artist. Born on Bidjigal Land, Cooper was raised on Gadigal and Dharawal Country. He started sketching cartoons from TV from the minute he could hold a pencil. You will always find Cooper with a pen, pencil or paint brush in his hand. Cooper is inspired to work with bright colours and likes using different techniques and tools to integrate dot painting.
With inspiration from Central and Western Australian desert land art styles, you will find most of Cooper’s art contains references to freshwater and saltwater. The reason behind this is Cooper’s family are freshwater people (Wiradjuri), but he was raised on saltwater country (across the Eora Nation). As well as a talented painter, Cooper is also interested in ceramics and sculpture.