Indigenous women recognised at Loy Yang

Recognising Indigenous women: Morwell Gunai artist Ronald Edwards Pepper conducted a smoking ceremony. photograph hayley mills

Recognising Indigenous women: Morwell Gunai artist Ronald Edwards Pepper conducted a smoking ceremony. photograph hayley mills

Indigenous women and their roles were recognised during a NAIDOC Week celebration at Loy Yang Power Station on Tuesday.

The ceremony was part of a plan by AGL to engage with the Indigenous community, only days after it lit up its iconic 110-metre cooling tower with a painting by Kurnai elder and artist Aunty Eileen Harrison.

The painting encourages men to take guidance from women and will be projected onto the tower until Sunday.

"I'm also proud to know that my artwork has been put out there on this huge building which I have never been close to in my whole entire life," Aunty Eileen told more than 50 employees during the ceremony.

"The circles represent the women and the diamonds, the triangles represent the men. My colours are earthy ... I don't go for very bright colours unless someone asks me to do something bright for them."

Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation cultural hub manager Grattan Mullett opened the ceremony with a Welcome to Country before speaking about NAIDOC Week and the importance it played in recognising the Indigenous community.

AGL Loy Yang general manager Steve Rieniets highlighted the company's interest in engaging with the Indigenous community before outlining the company's Reconciliation Action Plan.

The plan is expected to encourage conversations within the business about Indigenous culture as well as a public commitment for reconciliation.

"It informs our employees, customers, stakeholders and shareholder of AGL's contribution and long-term commitment to Indigenous reconciliation," an AGL spokeswoman said.

"We hope it will help transform attitudes in the workplace and develop cultural awareness which is in line with our core values of 'Inclusive of all' and 'Focussed on what matters'."

Morwell-based Gunai artist Ronald Edwards Pepper closed the proceedings with a traditional smoking ceremony before Aunty Eileen, her sister Aunty Leila Harrison and along with Mr Rieniets took part in a flag-raising ceremony.

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