Sold out First Nations luncheon a celebration of culture and community

Posted: 13 July 2023

Embracing First Nations culture and listening were some of the key themes leaders from the corporate, community, academia and government sectors explored at Pipeline Talent’s inaugural First Nations Leadership Luncheon in Canberra last week.

In the spirit of NAIDOC Week, attendees gathered at the event to celebrate and learn from Indigenous leaders such as Mundanara Bayles, Katrina Fanning AO PSM, Ambassador Justin Mohamed and Kirstie Parker.

Image 1: Billy Tompkins and Mundanara Bayles

Rachelle Towart OAM, Managing Director of Pipeline Talent, said the event exceeded expectations.

“To see 250 people learning and engaging with our First Nations speakers and performers was a career highlight for me.

“Listening was a strong thread, as was the importance of ensuring our unique Indigenous culture and perspectives are intertwined with our respective leadership styles” said Ms Towart.

Key insights from the speakers:

  • Kirstie Parker, Strategic Advisor to the Uluru Dialogue: Kirstie reflected that “Individually we are strong, but together we are unbeatable”. Kirstie also noted that her voice was her power and that “I am always going to speak up even if my voice shakes”.

  • Katrina Fanning AO PSM, Director of Coolamon Advisors: Katrina spoke about the importance of doing hard “things” and maintaining your course, because if you walk away “Who will sit at the table and advocate for our people if you leave?” 

  • Ambassador Mohamed, Ambassador for First Nations People: Ambassador Mohamed said that “First Nations people are the grandparents of culture and coming into the Ambassadorship I am reminded that we’ve come a long way in terms of the perspectives of my peers from other countries”.

The event was expertly emceed by Mundanara Bayles, Co-founder and Managing Director of BlackCard Pty Ltd, with one delegate commenting that it was “Such a privilege to hear the diversity of leadership journeys and, as a non-Indigenous person, I am in awe of the deep connection our First Nations leaders have to culture.”

Due to the event’s resounding success, Pipeline Talent will be holding their NAIDOC luncheon again in 2024.

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