Last week Scentre Group acknowledged NAIDOC Week as a significant cultural moment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities and celebrated with them in their Westfield living centres, and at the same time engaged its other Australian communities to join the celebration and gain a greater understanding about NAIDOC Week and all it represents.
To showcase and pay respect to Indigenous voice and language in line with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme – every Australian Westfield living centre was temporarily renamed to its traditional name in the language of the local Aboriginal or Torres Strait community. For example, Westfield Parramatta became Westfield Burramatta meaning “head of waters” or “the place where the eels lie down”.
The name changes were reflected in various ways across the smartscreen advertising network, directional signage, website and social media platforms where customers were able to learn more about the name origins.
Scentre Group Reconciliation Action Plan working group chair, Matt Fisk, said: “Westfield centres are deeply immersed in the communities in which they operate and have the ability to bring people and communities together to celebrate various cultural moments.
Scentre Group also hosted celebrations and activations in each living centre aligned to its local communities. “Through our centres temporarily renaming their centre locators, we were able to highlight the important role voice and language play in Indigenous culture,” said Fisk.
In addition, each of the Westfield living centres hosted celebrations and activations aligned to the local community during NAIDOC Week. Westfield Eastgardens hosted an in-centre welcome to country and didgeridoo performance, as well as art workshops and an “outback experience” for kids.
Westfield Parramatta activated a visual language installation that spoke to the language and stories of Darug Country and its people, as well as an interactive traditional and contemporary dance workshop by the Jannawi Dance Clan.