ICC Sydney‘s embrace of First Nation culture is evident as soon as you arrive at the building on the shores of Darling Harbour. At the entrance of the venue is local Indigenous artist Jeffrey Samuels’ painting, ‘Gadigal, Acknowledgment Respect,’ a visually striking homage to Sydney. The painting shows how First Nations people are connected to Sydney Harbour, and the whale, a totem of the Gadigal clan, features prominently. Elements from Samuels’ painting are displayed at all main entrances, which gives you a sense of the deep respect for Aboriginal culture that runs through the organisation.
Art aside, ICC Sydney has found another way to celebrate First Nations people and their contributions to Australian life and culture. The Legacy Program is a comprehensive, five stream offer to clients that allows them to build authentic experiences into their events. The First Australians stream celebrates and showcases Aboriginal culture and history in practical ways. Event organisers can choose from a range of authentic First Nations experiences, from traditional Welcome to Country ceremonies, cultural performances and tours. At a recent International Microscopy Congress, First Nations artists were invited to interpret scientific cell images.
The Creative Industries stream of the Legacy Program offers even more ways to engage visitors in uniquely ‘Sydney’ experiences. The stream was designed to foster connections between visitors and Sydney’s creative class through ICC Sydney’s network of artists, designers, performers and other creative professionals. Sara Mansour, a poet from Sydney’s western suburbs, is one such performer.
Mansour is the co-founder of the Bankstown Poetry Slam, a monthly event that sees poets from Sydney’s culturally diverse suburbs rhyme about life in a part of the city that doesn’t feature on postcards. Mansour’s events have been making waves locally and the Bankstown Poetry Slam is now an official partner of the Creative Industries stream, accessible to event organisers keen to connect with original voices.
In the past, clients have partnered with Dinosaur Designs, a celebrated Australian jewelry and homewares company, to create handmade gifts for delegates. Some have incorporated performances from the Sydney Festival and VIVID Sydney, the city’s winter festival of light, music and ideas, while others have booked performances through the Talent Development Project (TDP), a joint initiative between the NSW Department of Education and the entertainment industry.
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