Celebrating NAIDOC week

We all come across unique and different opportunities at work – from shadowing Howard Collins, Chief Executive of Sydney Trains, to helping organise the Transport for NSW Easter Show stall. During NAIDOC Week, three of our Talent Participants had the opportunity to learn more about the traditional owners of our land, which turned into a very hands-on experience!


Aboriginal Bark Canoe

Alec Xie and Jeffrey Min, graduates from Maritime worked alongside the RMS Aboriginal Engagement team to create an Aboriginal Bark Canoe; a single piece of Blue Gum Stringybark transformed into a canoe to travel across water and fish from.

Alec and Jeffrey first started stripping the bark with tomahawks until they reached the right thickness, with large strips of bark saved as straps or twisted into rope. Alec who was responsible for making the rope said, “It was surprising to see how strong the ropes were. They even held up to the mini tug-o-war competition!”

The ends of the bark were moulded into a W-shape, then compressed flat and secured with the ropes and straps. The canoe was coated in a protective layer of white clay and dried over a fire pit. Once the canoe is finished drying in a few weeks, it will be ready for display; unfortunately, it is just for display and not fishing!

Jeffrey commented, “We are really grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with people from all backgrounds in a full day of learning, from traditional Aboriginal to boat making to different fishing techniques.”











Alec Xie Helping to strip back the bark to the right thickness.

The canoe, before it has a layer of white clay applied and begins the drying process.





Kangaroo Skin Cloaks

Cadet Natalia Kuirintinus attended TfNSW’s Infrastructure and Services division (I&S) NAIDOC week celebrations at their Chatswood office, which included a bush tucker morning tea and presentations on the Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country procedure that is being introduced throughout TfNSW, and the Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

Dr Lynette Riley, a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, senior lecturer at Sydney University and an artist, joined the celebrations to share her journey on reclaiming tradition and re-affirming her cultural identity through creating Kangaroo Skin Cloaks.

Kangaroo Skin Cloaks were traditionally worn to provide warmth, protection from the rain or as a blanket, and they were also used for trade as they were items of high value.

Dr Riley began Cloak making in 2009 as a way for her to reconnect with her Traditional Lands. She makes the cloaks personally for each individual and details their family heritage and bloodline through the Aboriginal artwork on the back of the cloaks.

Natalia also shared some insights on the opportunity, and how it enriched her understanding of Aboriginal culture and life:

“Listening to Dr Riley gave me a greater understanding of the traditional methods that are engaged with on a daily basis, and a further appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

Check out the TfNSW NAIDOC week cluster video here.


We all come across unique and different opportunities at work – from shadowing Howard Collins, Chief Executive of Sydney Trains, to helping organise the Transport for NSW Easter Show stall. During NAIDOC Week, three of our Talent Participants had the opportunity to learn more about the traditional owners of our land, which turned into a very hands-on experience!


Aboriginal Bark Canoe

Alec Xie and Jeffrey Min, graduates from Maritime worked alongside the RMS Aboriginal Engagement team to create an Aboriginal Bark Canoe; a single piece of Blue Gum Stringybark transformed into a canoe to travel across water and fish from.

Alec and Jeffrey first started stripping the bark with tomahawks until they reached the right thickness, with large strips of bark saved as straps or twisted into rope. Alec who was responsible for making the rope said, “It was surprising to see how strong the ropes were. They even held up to the mini tug-o-war competition!”

The ends of the bark were moulded into a W-shape, then compressed flat and secured with the ropes and straps. The canoe was coated in a protective layer of white clay and dried over a fire pit. Once the canoe is finished drying in a few weeks, it will be ready for display; unfortunately, it is just for display and not fishing!

Jeffrey commented, “We are really grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with people from all backgrounds in a full day of learning, from traditional Aboriginal to boat making to different fishing techniques.”











Alec Xie Helping to strip back the bark to the right thickness.

The canoe, before it has a layer of white clay applied and begins the drying process.





Kangaroo Skin Cloaks

Cadet Natalia Kuirintinus attended TfNSW’s Infrastructure and Services division (I&S) NAIDOC week celebrations at their Chatswood office, which included a bush tucker morning tea and presentations on the Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country procedure that is being introduced throughout TfNSW, and the Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

Dr Lynette Riley, a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman, senior lecturer at Sydney University and an artist, joined the celebrations to share her journey on reclaiming tradition and re-affirming her cultural identity through creating Kangaroo Skin Cloaks.

Kangaroo Skin Cloaks were traditionally worn to provide warmth, protection from the rain or as a blanket, and they were also used for trade as they were items of high value.

Dr Riley began Cloak making in 2009 as a way for her to reconnect with her Traditional Lands. She makes the cloaks personally for each individual and details their family heritage and bloodline through the Aboriginal artwork on the back of the cloaks.

Natalia also shared some insights on the opportunity, and how it enriched her understanding of Aboriginal culture and life:

“Listening to Dr Riley gave me a greater understanding of the traditional methods that are engaged with on a daily basis, and a further appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

Check out the TfNSW NAIDOC week cluster video here.