Reconciliation front of mind for construction team

Reconciliation front of mind for construction team
Builders at the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment site celebrated National Reconciliation Week as well as their artistic achievements, thanks to a collaboration between the construction team and a local indigenous artist.

A painting was started during National Reconciliation Week 2017, when the construction workforce on the Lismore Base Hospital Redevelopment joined with indigenous artist Gilbert Laurie to create a piece of collaborative art.

Gilbert is a talented artist who belongs to the Yaegl and Widjibal tribes of the Bundjalung nation. Last year, Gilbert set up his canvas at the site compound and invited construction workers to try their hand at painting throughout the day.

In recognition of National Reconciliation Week this year, construction workers joined Gilbert last week to present the painting to Lismore Base Hospital to be hung permanently within the facility.

“Working on it and being involved was a great privilege,” Gilbert said. “It will be great to see where it’s hanging once it’s in the hospital.”

Brett Popham, John Holland Project Manager said it had been a rewarding experience for all involved.

“National Reconciliation Week is about coming together to celebrate respectful relationships. It’s an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture,” Brett said.

Narelle Gleeson, Acting General Manager, Lismore Base Hospital, said the painting was a beautiful piece of art which would help brighten the experience of people visiting the hospital.

“It will be a beautiful reminder to our staff and patients of the values of reconciliation, collaboration and teamwork, as well as providing something stunning to look at while they are here,” Ms Gleeson said.

The Lismore Base Hospital Stage 3 redevelopment includes a pilot of the Department of Industry’s Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program (ISLP).

The ISLP program promotes targets for workforce training and participation, with the aim of allowing existing workers to learn new skills on the job and increasing the representation of young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women in the construction industry.

There is a project target of 4% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, which John Holland are currently exceeding.

(pictured above) Gilbert Laurie performs Welcome To Country

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