Reconciliation in action: Hoodie Day

A week ago today, nbn celebrated its second annual AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) Hoodie Day across the country in 20 nbn offices.

AIME supports young Indigenous people to achieve their educational goals by mentoring them to stay and succeed at school and university.

Last week’s celebration was a chance to wear a hoodie and do some good. We had wonderful speakers from AIME attend our event to share stories about mentoring and the AIME program more generally. We were also honoured to host a Q&A session with rugby legend, and Indigenous businessman, Mark Ella AM.

This year’s hoodie is called Unity + Kindness. It felt almost as if the hoodie this year had been designed with nbn in mind. The front and the back designs resonate both with Liakukana and our mission to connect Australia, plus our 'One Team' and 'We Care' values.

Liakukana, nbn’s First People Community, is very special to us. The name was a gift from the elders of the Melythina Tiakana Warrana Aboriginal Corporation representing the people of Paredarerme country in the northeast region of Tasmania. As Tasmania was the first state to be part of the nbn™ broadband access network rollout, it was the ‘first drop’ in a nation-wide ripple effect enriching the country, and Liakukana symbolises this ripple effect too.

Kindness, the back of the hoodie, represents water flowing through the land to the seas. Iteka, the artist responsible for the design, says, “As a drop in the water creates a ripple so too do acts of kindness, spreading from one person to the next. With acts of kindness we can change the world.” How good is that. The front is called Unity and shows that “water flows through our country connecting us to each other and our land.” And, after all, what business are we in if not the business of connection.

nbn was the #1 Corporate Supporter of AIME Hoodie Day in 2019.

This year’s events raised more than $5,700 from gold coin donations at events, individual staff hoodie purchases and other AIME apparel. 520 nbn staff attended events and more than 5100 engaged on nbn’s internal Workplace platform. As part of the events, there were also five First People suppliers engaged.

NAIDOC Week and Hoodie Day are times for us at nbn to celebrate and reflect on our reconciliation journey too, and to think about our plans for the coming year. As nbn moves into a new phase, we will continue to ensure our commitment to Australia’s First People and that helping to lift the digital capability of Australia. Digital inclusion is a cornerstone of our customer-led strategy for FY20 and it is at the heart of our First People pillar too.

Pictured at top: NBN Co's Executive Committee in AIME 2019 Hoodies.