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ComfortDelGro Australia Launches Countrywide Reconciliation Action Plan

[by Nigel Tunnell-Jones]


Artist Luke Penrith, CDC Regional Australia Division CEO Tony Hopkins. ComfortDelGro Australia CEO Nicholas Yap, Larrakia Nation CEO Michael Rotumah, Treasurer; Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics; Minister for Education; Minister for Territory Development the Hon Eva. Lawler, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Chief Executive Andrew Kirkman, Founding Director of IBC Community Services Damien Mick. Image: supplied

A leading Australian bus company is strengthening and expanding its contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation with the launch of its Australia-wide Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).


ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC) launched its new RAP at an event in Darwin, which was emceed by media personality Charlie King and attended by Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Hon. Eva Lawler.


Also in attendance was Aboriginal artist Luke Penrith, advocate Damien Mick, representatives from the Northern Territory Government and other community partners, CDC’s leadership team from around Australia and its Darwin employees including many bus drivers.


Speaking at the event, Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Hon. Eva Lawler said that CDC’s Reconciliation Action Plan is a national plan – but the company’s decision to launch here in Darwin is a sign of respect to the Larrakia country they work on.


“I congratulate CDC on the attention to detail in their plan; it sets clear goals for providing employment pathways for Aboriginal people; it seeks sustainable business relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned organisations and promotes a respectful environment inclusive of cultural awareness.”


ComfortDelGro Australia CEO Nicholas Yap said the company selected Darwin for the RAP launch due to the extensive community engagement initiatives it has in place with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community groups and the recent milestone of 100 days of linking even more Territorians to their places and communities.


“We’re humbled and grateful for the trust that the Northern Territory Government extended our organisation in awarding us the privilege of operating essential public transport services to all of Darwin,” Mr Yap said. 


“It only feels like yesterday that we were awarded the latest contract for bus services in Darwin, but we recently completed our first 100 days of service marking a smooth transition to the new contracts through the effort of our CDC NT team right here in Darwin working closely with the Department.”


Mr Yap said that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is a cause that is dear to the hearts of those working for CDC.


“All of us here, and those of us serving in locations around the country, are very proud to launch ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia’s first Australia-wide Reconciliation Action Plan,” he said.


“This plan has taken our organisation much combined thought and consideration, as well a lot of listening to the needs of our communities.


“It means we can take our passion for community engagement to the next level and contribute more thoroughly to the communities we serve.”


Mr Yap said that CDC’s RAP begins with the company’s vision, which is to is to create and maintain a culturally inclusive, educated organisation, while being a partner that supports, understands and respects the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


“To achieve this, we will work on developing existing relationships and creating new ones with our communities,” he said.


“We will focus on encouraging mutual respect by educating our people on reconciliation, cultures and histories and recognising significant calendar dates.


“We will also actively search for opportunities to increase employment opportunities and improved retention, as well as better outcomes from our procurement processes.”


To commemorate the launch of CDC’s RAP, the company has also placed its RAP artwork on its buses in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Gladstone and Darwin.


CDC’s RAP artwork was created by Luke Penrith, a proud Wiradjuri, Wotjobaluk, Yuin and Gumbaynggirr artist, father and community advocate from Tumut, New South Wales.


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