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Boral upholds reconciliation plan, hands land back to traditional owners

 

Boral has continued to strengthen relations with indigenous groups by returning a 3.6-hectare portion of land to its traditional owners.

The Waurn Ponds site, west of Melbourne, saw a ceremony of reconciliation between the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) and representatives of Boral.

Among the Boral team was chief executive officer and managing director Zlatko Todorcevski, who said he felt proud to witness such a special occasion.

“Returning the land to its Traditional Owners is of special significance to Boral, and it has struck a chord with our people,” Todorcevski said.

“We are a proud Australian company, and as we celebrate Boral’s 75th anniversary, we proudly acknowledge today’s achievement and what it means to the Wadawurrung People.”

The ceremony formed part of Boral’s reconciliation action plan (RAP), which Todorcevski outlined.

“Through Boral’s second Reconciliation Action Plan – our Innovate RAP – we are undertaking a range of important initiatives including employment strategies to employ more Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people and procurement programs to support Indigenous businesses,” Todorcevski said.

The chief executive officer of the WTOAC Paul Davis emphasised the importance of moments like these.

“The value of this gesture by Boral in returning this site, which holds great significance to the Wadawurrung People, cannot be understated,” Davis said.

“I genuinely hope that the history we are witnessing here today will inspire and encourage companies, private and public, to make a meaningful contribution to reconciliation.”

The land previously formed part of Boral’s Waurn Ponds cement works which totals more than 1000 hectares.

Boral said the traditional owners plan to convert the space into a hub for cultural and educational purposes.