National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation.

Today as part of our weekly morning tea, Kayla Dunn (Wiradjuri) yarned with Beau de Belle (Gamilaraay) about his PhD research titled Message Stick Protocols: Working between the Architect and the First Nations Community.

Message sticks, we learnt, were traditionally used as mnemonic devices to communicate specific meanings and messages. When travelling across County and language groups, they provided ways of knowing through the marks carved into them and the message being conveyed by the messenger.

Beau spoke about his work in Indigenous-led design, the process of “deep listening” and a methodology of engagement that is based on gaining trust and respect first and appreciating that the path to understanding is rarely a straight line.

Beau is currently working with JCB on an exciting First Nations-led project, which we look forward to sharing with you soon.

On Friday, we’re looking forward to a team lunch before a screening of Kutcha’s Koorioke, part of the SBS and Reconciliation Australia Film Club, featuring Mutti Mutti songman Kutcha Edwards and Indigenous artists as they travel around the streets of Melbourne.

With thanks to Beau de Belle.