Queenslanders have been encouraged to nominate a government agency, businesses, community organisation or educational institution that has worked to advance reconciliation in the state for the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday announced former NRL player Johnathan Thurston would once again take on the role of reconciliation awards ambassador, and called on the public to submit their nominations by February 22.
“The Queensland Reconciliation Awards helps to recognise the inspiring initiatives and partnerships which go above and beyond their core business to support reconciliation and make a tangible difference in the lives of Queenslanders,” she said.
“Every year, we’re overwhelmed by the diversity of the nominations we receive and we’re inspired by the commitment by businesses, community groups and organisations to create innovative pathways to change.”
There are five awards categories in which organisations can be nominated, including business, community, education, partnership, and a new category — health and wellbeing.
In regard to the partnership category, government departments and public service agencies that wish to run must be able to show how the work undertaken within the partnership “goes above and beyond their core business”, according to the guidelines.
The Premier’s Reconciliation Award will also be presented to an initiative that has demonstrated innovative strategies and exceptional outcomes toward advancing reconciliation in Queensland.
While a total of $30,000 in prize money will be shared between the winning organisations, government entities cannot claim any money.
Award winners will be announced during National Reconciliation Week, from May 27 to June 3.
The 2020 winners included the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation and Gubbi Gubbi Dance for their joint Kids in Action Program, the Eidsvold P–12 State School for its Yumbin program, and the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre for its screens project depicting First Nation oral histories.
“With 2021 awards nominations now open, we look forward to hearing more inspiring stories of how Queenslanders are working together for a fair and harmonious future for our state,” Palaszczuk said.
The annual awards highlight the great work happening to pave the way for reconciliation across the state, according to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships minister Craig Crawford.
“Everyone can take positive action towards a more inclusive society where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities can access opportunities to thrive,” he noted.
“If you know of, or help deliver an outstanding initiative to promote reconciliation in Queensland, I encourage you to nominate today for this awards program.”