International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) on Gadigal Country, managed by ASM Global, made 73,600 cultural impressions across 67 events in 2022 – a measurement of the impact of the venue’s global platform and advocacy for reconciliation as visitors engage with Australia’s First Nations people at events.
Located on Gadigal Country where Tumbalong (Darling Harbour) meets Gomora (Cockle Bay), ICC Sydney has revealed how its approach to reconciliation has strengthened its diverse team, delivered positive social impacts within its community and provided meaningful event experiences by connecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the venue every year with First Nations people and culture.
ICC Sydney CEO and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy said the team’s commitment to its Reconciliation Action Plan helped it to support parent group ASM Global ACTS framework objectives to invest in the venue’s team, protect the environment and strengthen the community.
“As we strive for reconciliation, equality and social justice, the impact is threefold. Our team is ever more diverse and inclusive. Our clients can enrich their delegates’ experience by connecting them to the culture and businesses of First Nations people. Finally, our advocacy for reconciliation helps us to deepen our relationships with our First Nations community, respectfully acknowledge their culture through our practices and create the opportunities that make a difference,” Mr Donaghy said.
Mr Donaghy said the achievements of the venue’s latest Reconciliation Action Plan includes facilitating connections to First Nations people and culture through its Legacy Programme.
“Supported by our venue’s diverse team, event organisers have significantly embraced the venue’s Legacy Programme with almost 65% of the international events delivered in 2022 activating at least one of its five streams, and the vast majority (90%) of these activations including a connection to Australia’s First Nations culture through performances, food, artwork or gifts at their events.
“We’re driving change internally too — We are committed to embedding Gadigal language in our daily operations and practices in accordance with Australia’s National Agreement on Closing the Gap and in response to the UNSECO Global Action Plan for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.
“We are continuously training our people in cultural awareness. We continue to mark days of cultural significance across National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week and others. Our new First Nations procurement policy has allowed us to add 11 new First Nations businesses to our list in FY21/22, spending over A$408,000 with Aboriginal owned, Supply Nation accredited business over those 12 months,” Mr Donaghy said.
Cain Slater, Chief Operating Officer at KARI said the partnership with ICC Sydney is a perfect embodiment of their mission to create meaningful points of connection to share Aboriginal culture and achievement while strengthening Indigenous communities in Australia.
"The power of business events to demonstrate the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is proven repeatedly at ICC Sydney. The business connections we have made have resulted in increased investment in our support programmes, from helping to equip kids for learning to strengthening career opportunities for high performing talent, while broadening the exposure of our cultural performances to more local and visiting event attendees.
“With over 90% of our KARI performances booked and hosted through the venue, ICC Sydney has been a central platform to promote, share and nurture First Nations people, culture and talent on a global scale,” Mr Slater said.
ICC Sydney today shared the successes and challenges of developing and implementing Reconciliation Actions Plans, which provide excellent guard rails for businesses on their reconciliation journey.
Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia said ICC Sydney was supporting and showing respect and acknowledgement of First Nations people and their traditions, cultures and histories.
“Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) enable organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. ICC Sydney thinks deeply about how they incorporate relationships, respect and opportunities into their work and their events and they're continuing to learn through the delivery of their second Reconciliation Action Plan.
“In addition to embedding culturally inclusive practices into their operations, an important aspect of their plan includes facilitating consultation into ICC Sydney’s diverse events and introducing visitors to First Nations cultures.
“With ICC Sydney’s productive 2023 events calendar in mind, visitors can look forward to hearing the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they engage with our cultures in a meaningful way,” Ms Mundine said.
Furthermore, Donaghy shared his hope that ICC Sydney’s commitment towards reconciliation would inspire other business events organisations to follow suit.
“ICC Sydney committed to reconciliation even before venue opened. With our second Reconciliation Action Plan already in motion, nothing would make us happier than to see other organisations across the nation do the same – because it is only together that we will really turn the dial and drive change,” Mr Donaghy said.
The venue’s second Reconciliation Action Plan commenced from March 2022 with the support of its First Nations community partners Reconciliation Australia, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, KARI Foundation, Aunty Margret Campbell of Dreamtime Southern X, Supply Nation, Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative.
To find out more about ICC Sydney's Reconciliation Action Plan or Legacy Program visit the website
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