SeaLink Travel Group is proud to launch its first ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2018-2020 which is a commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the communities where the company works.
SeaLink Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Ellison, said: “SeaLink’s RAP is a strategic document which supports our business plan and it’s being launched at a variety of events around Australia during Reconciliation Week.
“We want to improve our services, investigate opportunities to provide more employment and have stronger community engagement with people from the communities where our services are focused.
“Across Northern Australia more than 40% of SeaLink’s customers are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
“In addition, a large number of SeaLink’s customers in Northern Australia are seeking out Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experiences.”
Mr Ellison also said “We have invited staff and communities to participate in our RAP events in Townsville, North Stradbroke Island and Darwin, and we will be hosting conversations about how we can support reconciliation and engagement.”
Alf Lacey, Mayor of Palm Island in North Queensland, where SeaLink provide five services a week to the remote island community of 3,000 people said “SeaLink is a critical service provider to Palm Island, providing more than 50,000 passenger trips annually and the ferry company has shown strong commitment to engaging with the Council, Elders and locals on community economic development and tourism activities”.
SeaLink commenced preparing for the launch of its Reconciliation Action Plan in late 2017, establishing a RAP Working Group, consulting with its key communities and staff about commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island customers and staff.
SeaLink provides ferry services to some of Australia’s most remote indigenous communities and these services often are the first opportunity for locals to access education, health care, family, sporting and cultural activities. SeaLink services include;
- Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory
- Bickerton Island, Northern Territory
- Numbulwar, Northern Territory
- Palm Island, North Queensland
- Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory.
The Reconciliation Action Plan provides a framework for SeaLink to support reconciliation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, employees and communities.
SeaLink’s RAP includes practical actions that will grow SeaLink’s commitment to engagement and reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which it operates.
Recent SeaLink activities involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities include:
- SeaLink launches with Townsville Enterprise Ltd the Palm Island Open Day and establishes regular seasonal Palm Island Day Tours to promote travel and tourism to the Island, supporting local community business
- SeaLink launches in the NT Tiwi Islands AFL Grand Final tourist packages to support the Tiwi Islands local football league
- SeaLink Gladstone commences mentoring activities relating to vessel operations and administration specifically as relates to local Aboriginal organisation’s Marine Ranger program providing access on SeaLink vessels for local Aboriginal employees to develop skills and accrue sea-time
- The Garbutt Magpies Boys to Men program sponsored by SeaLink in North Queensland wins a National Reconciliation Award
- SeaLink purchases Stradbroke Island Ferries in SE Queensland and continues support to Aboriginal community organisations including as Yulu Burri Ba Medical Centre - Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders in Council (MMEIC) – Moopi Moopi Aged Care facility to support travel to funerals, key events and NAIDOC Week celebrations
- SeaLink continues with the artistic presentation by a Quandamooka artist for its vehicle ferry –
- Minjerribah – commissioned as part of the 50th Anniversary of Stradbroke Island Ferries.
- SeaLink facilitates Bwgcolman Arts exhibitions in SeaLink Terminals in Townsville and Magnetic Island
- SeaLink establishes a partnership with the Queensland Rugby League to include Palm Island Juniors in the TJDRL (Townsville Junior District Rugby League) competition
- SeaLink includes Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council for the proposed Museum of Underwater Art with a view to building tourism opportunity for Palm Island people within the Palm Island Group of Islands
- SeaLink in the NT commences services in the East Arnhem Land supported by the Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust