Manteena, a leader in the construction industry, has formally launched its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – an initiative aiming to advance reconciliation and help close the gap within the sector. Alongside this historic moment, the company is proud to unveil the ‘Building Connection‘ painting, a captivating piece by the talented Ngiyampaa artist, Sarah Richards.
A Step Forward in Reconciliation
Since endorsing its first RAP, named Reflect, Manteena has made significant strides in nurturing relationships and understanding with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The company’s commitment is apparent in its efforts to increase cultural awareness, enriching the entire Manteena community’s understanding of the unique challenges faced by these communities.
With the Innovate RAP, Manteena aims to provide an inclusive environment for education, training, and employment opportunities in the construction industry, ensuring that First Nations people not only have a presence but also thrive and feel welcomed. With the governance of the RAP Working Group and the Company Directors, the Innovate RAP is structured around four integral elements – Relationships, Respect, Opportunities, and Governance.
Manteena’s commitment to promoting mutual respect and trust is evident through their partnerships with local bodies, including the ACT Education Directorate. Our collaborative Mentoring Program offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students an immersive experience in the construction industry, introducing them to the myriad of career opportunities available.
Unveiling the Building Connection
As part of this pivotal moment in the company’s journey, Manteena unveiled Building Connection, a beautiful 40″ x 40″ painting by Sarah Richards. Richards, an award-winning Ngiyampaa woman, combines her passion for art with her commercial background to create art under her business, Marrawuy Journeys. Inspired by Manteena’s values, the painting captures the essence of Manteena’s family-based culture, client diversity, and journey towards organisational reconciliation.
The vibrant layers of the artwork represent the diverse landscapes where Manteena operates, while the smaller circles depict the extensive reach of Manteena’s clients and projects. Central to the painting are symbols representing the three essential aspects of the RAP: respect, relationships, and opportunities, extending outward to symbolise Manteena’s external influence. The surrounding figures on the edge of the artwork symbolise Manteena’s family-based culture, encompassing their own families, clients, and the wider community.
A New Chapter in Manteena’s Journey
Manteena’s Innovate RAP and the unveiling of Building Connection mark a new chapter in the company’s journey towards creating a more inclusive and respectful environment. The RAP’s success will be measured by the increased awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture amongst staff, and the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples. As visitors and employees view the Building Connection painting in the front reception area, they will be reminded of this commitment and the progress being made every day.
Mark Bauer, Manteena CEO, shares his perspective, saying, “As we unveil our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – the Innovate RAP, our sense of pride and commitment is stronger than ever. Through our initial Reflect RAP, our staff had the incredible opportunity to deepen their understanding of First Nations histories. The progress of the Aboriginal Mentoring Program, involving our dedicated staff guiding high school students and providing insight into construction industry opportunities, has been particularly rewarding. As we look forward, we’re excited to further develop and strengthen our kinships and long-term connections with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Our journey of growth and learning on this beautiful land continues, and we’re deeply grateful to Reconciliation Australia for their guidance in developing our Innovate RAP. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Manteena RAP Working Group for their continuous contributions and passion for achieving the goals of Manteena’s Reconciliation Action Plan”.
By championing reconciliation and inclusivity, Manteena is leading the way in the construction industry, building a future that we can all be proud of.
A copy of the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan can be downloaded here.