The Royal Australian Navy has officially named the main passageway of its newest vessel, NUSHIP Supply.
The crew of NUSHIP Supply, joined by Les Kosez from Eden Aboriginal Land Council, has officially unveiled the main passageway sign inside the vessel, naming it ‘Bundian Way’ in honour of a historic Aboriginal passageway in the ship’s ceremonial homeport of Eden.
Commanding Officer of NUSHIP Supply, Captain Ben Hissink, reflected on the symbolic importance of the sign’s installation.
“As a crew, we set out to identify meaningful ways to develop a workplace culture which acknowledges Australia’s early maritime history and diverse multiculturalism, while creating a new, positive future that celebrates individuals and culture,” CAPT Hissink said.
“We connected with Eden Aboriginal Land Council, based in our ceremonial homeport, to determine how we could achieve this culture.”
Through its Cultural Advisory Group, NUSHIP Supply has enlisted two Aboriginal artists, Alison Simpson and Joe Stewart from Eden, to create their mascot and the ship’s artwork.
Crew also participated in canoe building and engaged with the Woolloomooloo Aboriginal community through community building events.
Able Seaman Jahlaya Weazel from Wakka Wake and Pitta Wake Countries said the celebration of her culture aboard the ship provided her with confidence.
“My culture is about respect and unity. The journey the Supply crew have undertaken to create a similar workplace culture has given me and other Indigenous Australians in the crew something to be proud of,” AB Weazel said.
“It has built our confidence immensely and given me opportunities I never thought possible, such as being offered a representative position on the Bundian Way Advisory Committee.”
NUSHIP Supply is expected to be commissioned in April.
[Related: NUSHIP Supply arrives at Sydney homeport]