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ESG

Amgen hosts Indigenous leaders amidst calls for greater action

Health Industry Hub | May 29, 2024 |

ESG: Coinciding with National Reconciliation Week, Amgen’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group hosted Bidjigal man Peter Cooley, Director and CEO of First Hand Solutions and creator of IndigiGrow, along with Luke Cook, an IndigiGrow apprentice, at their Sydney office.

Peter Cooley delivered a powerful talk to staff about the philosophy of IndigiGrow, a social enterprise dedicated to sustaining people, land, and culture through the propagation and growing of native plants. Luke Cook shared his personal experiences as an apprentice at IndigiGrow, highlighting the opportunities it has provided him, particularly in fostering his connection to Country.

Lisa Kurian, Director, Legal and Company Secretary, and Chair of Amgen Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, remarked, “We first began our relationship with IndigiGrow through corporate volunteering and were pleased to further build on this relationship by learning from Peter and Luke at our NRW event.”

The event also featured a lunch catered by Indigenous catering company Kallico, allowing staff to sample Indigenous bush tucker such as kangaroo and crocodile.

Kurian added, “Partnering with organisations like IndigiGrow and Kallico is an important part of our Reconciliation journey. We are embracing this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, ‘Now More Than Ever,’ and are committed to listening, learning, and playing an active role in strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of all cultures.”

Despite the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and the latest report showing a lack of meaningful progress, the 2024-25 Federal Budget papers reveal a concerning decline in funding for First Nations health programs for this year and the next three estimates.

Reconciliation Australia is calling on supporters to defend and uphold the rights of First Nations peoples, call out racism, and actively amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Now more than ever, the work continues. In treaty making, in truth-telling, in understanding our history, in education, and in tackling racism. We need connection. We need respect. We need action. And we need change. Now more than ever, we need reconciliation,” the organisation emphasised.

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