The path to innovation and reconciliation

Jul 5, 2022

The path to innovation and reconciliation

Sustainability isn’t simply about recognising and addressing environmental issues, it’s also about the safety and wellbeing embedded in workplace culture. It’s about business relationships and our place within society and the positive contribution to be made each day.

At The Perth Mint we are working hard to ensure our commitment to sustainability and this includes acknowledging the part we have to play in reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We know it’s not an easy path to tread, but one that we are committed to journey on in collaboration with the traditional owners of the land.

As part of this, we commenced the development of our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2019 and this was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in 2020.

The RAP Framework provides organisations like us with a structured approach to advance reconciliation. Our RAP outlines how we will better acknowledge and engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and since its release, more than 85 per cent of our staff have completed cultural awareness training to improve understanding and deepen connections.

Five steps The Perth Mint has taken towards reconciliation

  1. Officially raising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at our historic East Perth site during NAIDOC week in 2021. This symbolised the beginning of our journey and followed the release of our first Reconciliation Action Plan. We now proudly raise these flags daily, alongside the Australian flag, at both our refinery and East Perth sites.
  2. Increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee representation within our refinery and East Perth sites.
  3. Releasing a special coin featuring Indigenous artwork by renowned Whadjuk-Yuet-Ballardong artist Kevin Bynder as part of National Reconciliation Week 2022. With up to 90% of our coins exported, the Black Swan Maali 2022 2oz Silver Antiqued Coloured Coin will showcase Indigenous artwork to the world.
  4. As a world class tourist attraction, The Perth Mint has tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year. We have taken this opportunity to revise our tour script to include information about Indigenous culture.
  5. Indigenous artwork is pivotal for telling the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and raising cultural awareness amongst our employees and visitors. As part of this, we’ve installed a beautiful mural at our refinery and a mosaic in our East Perth courtyard. Both are artworks by the incredibly talented Kevin Bynder.

After working with Kevin on our RAP artworks and projects, we were keen to support up and coming female artist Paige Pryor, recommended and mentored by Kevin.

Paige has painted Innovation, an amazing piece of artwork representing The Perth Mint’s reconciliation journey, Innovate, and has described the meaning behind the different elements within the painting.

“The little circle at the bottom with the blue ‘U’ symbol represents the first people that [were] all involved in creating the first reconciliation action plan. The white journey lines on the bottom are their past networks/partnerships,” she said.

“The bigger circle at the top represents The Perth Mint 2022 RAP, it is bigger as it represents growth. You have bigger and smaller ‘U’ [shapes]; the bigger U are the Nyungar people who are leading the way in this year’s reconciliation plan [and] the smaller U are the diverse staff who are helping to develop and strengthen the relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The white journey lines coming from the bigger meeting circles represent this year and the future networks, team works and partnerships The Perth Mint will develop.”

— Paige Pryor

“The green, blue and white connection circles, represent the connection The Perth Mint has with the Nyungar Whadjuk people.

“The yellow and orange big ‘U’ are the elders who pass the Kaartdijin (knowledge) down to younger generations and non-indigenous people, so we know how to work with respect on the Boodjar (country).

“The gold and the metal represents The Perth Mint, gold, silver and platinum bullion coins, bars, digital gold and storage products. The river represents the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), which is significant to the area. The animal tracks represent sustainability and strength.”

We are so privileged here at The Perth Mint to be able to show such incredible artworks by two talented local Indigenous artists. We hope this demonstrates, even in a small part, how committed we are to reconciliation and the its importance to our staff, visitors and community.

To find out more about our path to reconciliation as part of our sustainability commitment, click here.