This week is NAIDOC Week 2020, with the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
It’s an important event on our calendar – a time to come together and celebrate the remarkable history, culture and achievements of the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
While NAIDOC Week is traditionally celebrated in July, this year’s celebrations were postponed to November due to COVID-19, to ensure we could all give one of our nation’s most important events the attention, thought and respect it so rightly deserves.
NRAR wholeheartedly supports NAIDOC Week’s key theme of “Always Was, Always Will Be”. This not only applies to the Land we share, but also the Land’s water resources. Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities have lived on this continent for over 65,000 years and throughout this time, have developed an invaluable knowledge and insight into managing Country.
Working with our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities is not only a core priority and social principal at NRAR – it’s also a great privilege. Learning from Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities is one of our proudest achievements in our work and it will remain a priority in our ongoing recruitment efforts.
What motivates us to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources for present and future generations is an just an echo of the hard work, skill and determination applied to Country by First Nations People who have occupied and cared for this land for many generations before our arrival.
In our latest recruitment drive for our regional Routine Monitoring staff, diversity was at the front of our minds. It’s why I’m so proud to say that a quarter of our new Field Officers in Tamworth, Dubbo and Deniliquin identify as Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander.
Kelsie, a new Dubbo Field Officer in Wiradjuri land, is joining our family and we are so pleased to have her on board. She says her Indigenous heritage has cemented her career in working in environmental protection and seeks to work hard to give back to Australia’s natural resources.
Tannah, a Gomerio woman from Gamillaraay nation is a compliance officer based in Port Macquarie and has been with us since March last year. She celebrates NAIDOC Week as a personal moment to connect with her culture.
She also works with our Indigenous Support Network, which helps First Nation people at NRAR connect and share their ideas and learnings together.
I am personally proud to lead NRAR as an agency that is committed to working collaboratively with Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders. First Nations people carry a deep and personal passion for their land, water, community, plants and animals – big and small.
We want to join them on this journey of respect for land and we are grateful for their generosity along the way.
As with all Australians, NRAR is proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week and we collectively thank our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander friends, family, colleagues and communities for working with us in sharing their invaluable knowledge in managing our shared land so generously.
Always ways, always will be.
To be attributed to Grant Barnes, NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer.
About Grant Barnes: As NRAR’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Grant is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the regulator which is charged with adding transparency and building community confidence in water compliance and enforcement in NSW.
About NRAR: The NRAR was established in 2018 under the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017 to be an independent, transparent and effective water regulator with total responsibility for the compliance and enforcement of water laws in NSW.