30 May 2022
As part of National Reconciliation Week 2022, we are honoured to share the stories and words of some amazing people at BHP who have been pioneering the way with reconciliation.
Barry Dixon is the Operations Manager for our Kambalda Nickel Operation. He moved to WA in 1994 to join the Nickel business as a Process Technician at Mt Keith.
What does reconciliation mean to you?
“Reconciliation to me is about understanding, acceptance and inclusion – it’s about working towards making today and tomorrow a place where things can actually be better for all Australians, including Indigenous peoples.
When we challenge the way that things have been done in the past, think deeply about our systems and processes and fight the good fight to break down embedded practices, that is when we open up pathways for Indigenous and diverse people to access opportunities in this world. That is when we take real steps to reconcile the past injustices with future potential for all.
For me, the demonstration of true reconciliation came when I witnessed how joyous my cousins on Mum’s side of the family were when the Kullilli People were recognised as Native Title Holders in July 2014. Mum’s ancestors come from the lands and waters spanning Southwest Queensland’s Channel Country, with the Bulloo River at the very heart of that homeland.”
What does the theme Be Brave, Make Change mean to you?
“Having spent a lot of time based in regional Australian towns, sometimes the behaviours and attitudes in the communities can be strongly held, on both sides of the divide, and overcoming this divide is not easy for either party. This ties in perfectly with the theme, because it will take bravery to challenge these issues and bring about change – without some courage, strength and most importantly kindness, we will not be able to move forward together.”
If society commits to bravery and change in the spirit of reconciliation, what does the future look like in your mind?
“Simply, the future is one where everyone in Australian society has the same opportunities and where people who display the courage and desire to be better, do better, and effect change for themselves and their families, are fully supported and empowered to achieve those desires.
Reconciliation does not mean an unfair tipping of the scales to one side or the other, the scales are thrown in the bin because who needs to weigh up advantages on one side or another when everyone is treated fairly.”
Thank you to Barry for sharing your story. We encourage everyone to play their part and help contribute towards reconciliation in some way this week. Visit Reconciliation Australia or your Digital Workspace for more information.