3 June 2022 marked 30 years to the day, (3 June 1992) that the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision. This decision challenged the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.
The day also marked the start of Reconciliation Week, an important opportunity to reflect on our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The theme of Reconciliation Week 2022 was ‘Be Brave. Make Change’.
That is our commitment at Sims Limited. With more than 100 years of history in Australia, we recognise the role we have to play in both telling the truth about the past and building a future of shared and sustainable prosperity.
Last year, Sims Metal, our metal recycling division, formalised our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). It sets out the first steps on this journey and is a formal document endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. The RAP hich is based around the three pillars of Reconciliation: Respect, Relationships and Opportunities, forms an important part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion across our global operations.
- Respect is shown by taking the time to listen and learn. In 2021 we rolled out cultural competency training, which reached 80% of our site-based frontline leaders and commercial teams. We will build on this work in our next RAP to reach all Australia-based employees.
- We are building Relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, communities and organisations for mutual benefit. For instance, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted a delegation from the local Aboriginal Health Service at our facility in Kwinana, Western Australia, so they could see first-hand what happened to car bodies that Sims Metal helped remove from communities in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
- Business partnerships are critical because they help to build opportunities – both at our company and in our supply chain. We’ve worked with one of our suppliers, Yurra, to embed their team members within our rail recovery teams in WA, which will grow the capabilities of both organisations. Last year, we spent in excess of $1M with Indigenous-owned businesses, and we recently joined Supply Nation, the peak body for Indigenous owned business, to help us grow our impact in this vibrant and dynamic business sector.
This year, Sims Metal marked Reconciliation Week with events across Australia, including morning teas and community events. The business also hosted a ceremonial flag raising ceremony and a smoking ceremony at its Kwinana location. Sims Limited and its portfolio businesses will continue exploring new ways to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, and businesses as we work toward reconciliation.
Learn more about our commitment to DEI.