CEO Blog: Taking action towards reconciliation


Yamanha Birrang

The English translation of the language of the Wiradyuri people means ‘come along this journey together’ and is the title of the Aboriginal artwork that features in Castle’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

The centrepiece of this highly symbolic artwork represents the individual, surrounded and supported by the people of their family and community.

It reflects the personal experience of the artist Lily (Minmi) Hodgson, a proud Wiradyuri woman whose own words form a powerful testimony to the inclusion at the heart of our organisation.

During my journey with Castle, I was treated with respect, love, and care: and most of all, like a human being. Not only that, but I was seen and heard with my identity and the difficulties that lie within walking the two worlds, coupled with a disability.

20240320_115538Minmi spoke with passion about her journey with Castle and revealed her artwork 'Yamanha Birrang', commissioned for Castle's RAP.


Visit Castle's website to view Minmi's artwork 'Yamanha Birrang' and learn more about its meaning and connection to her story.

For over 30 years, Castle has supported people with disability access employment and community engagement across the lands of the Awabakal, Darkinjung, Wonnarua, and Worimi peoples.

Back in November 2021, a small group of Castle employees met for the first time to establish a Reconciliation Team. The aim of this group was to create a safe space at Castle for the creation of a Reconciliation Action Plan that recognises First Nations people and holds Castle’s vision for inclusion at its core.

We wanted this plan to address the intersection between the work of Castle and the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Castle's Reconciliation Action Plan CoverClick to view Castle's Reconciliation Action Plan

According to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2018–19 (NATSIHS), almost 38% of First Nations people have a disability.

11% of Castle’s current Disability Employment Service participants identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

6% of Castle’s NDIS participants identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

We also estimate, based on recent employee survey data, that 11% of our employees are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Reconciliation is clearly an issue that matters to Castle.

On 20 March 2024, Aunty Daniella Chedzey (Aunty D) a proud Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan woman, stood on Awabakal land at Toronto and conducted a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony to commemorate the launch of Castle’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

image00009-1image00019-2-1We believe that reconciliation is more than recognition of the oldest continuous culture in the world: it is an opportunity to enhance and enrich our lives through a deeper connection to Country, to People, and to the wisdom of over 65,000 years.

Castle’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan invites our participants, employees, and community stakeholders to engage and participate actively in the process of Reconciliation through respectful conversations and tolerance. Over time, we want them to become confident in their knowledge and understanding of the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play.

Yamanha Birrang – Come Along This Journey Together