New MAX office opens in Cairns with moving Welcome to Country

Published by MAXSolutions on October 18, 2022
New MAX office opens in Cairns with moving Welcome to Country

To celebrate the opening of our new office in Cairns, Minjil, an Indigenous cultural group, performed a moving Welcome to Country ceremony at an official event on October 11.

With connections to traditional owners from the Yidinydji, Djabuganydji and Gungganydji clans Uncle Carl Fourmile welcomed our new team with didgeridoo, dance, a welcome song and sharing of cultural knowledge and stories.

While MAX’s work in Cairns had previously been exclusively with customers living with disability, our services recently expanded to include anyone on income support through Workforce Australia.

New MAX office opens in Cairns with moving Welcome to Country

To celebrate the expansion, MAX executives including Chief Operating Officer Darren Hooper, Executive General Manager Employment Services Fiona Lamb and General Manager Employment Services Sam Brown joined with MAX Cairns team members and invited guests from community organisations around the region.

Cairns Business Manager William Kerr was privileged to represent the MAX team as the recipient of a beautiful gift from the traditional owners, as the Welcome to Country concluded with a gift giving ceremony.

The gift giving ceremony reflects Indigenous customs. Each traditional owner tribe has a unique way of sharing Welcome to Country, however regardless of which tribe, the words and ceremonies are designed to welcome guests to country. This custom is special to Minjil and they pride themselves in doing so.

“It’s a joy to witness and be part of, it gave me goose bumps,” says MAX Indigenous Mentor and Program Support Eddie Mills. 

New MAX office opens in Cairns with moving Welcome to Country

Uncle Carl Fourmile thanked MAX for inviting Minjil to being involved in the opening of the new MAX office. This provided the opportunity for them to share their culture and hear their connection to country.  

However, all attendees received the gift of insight into local Indigenous culture and history that will stay with them into the future.

“It was a delight to get such a deep insight into the culture and practices of the traditional owners in this area,” says Ms Brown. 

“The first thing that we like to do is actually get to understand our customer — where they’ve come from, what they’re looking for, and the steps that we need to take with them to help move them into employment. 

“I believe this experience and insight will allow us to connect more authentically with our Indigenous customers in Cairns and we look forward to serving existing and new customers in the coming years,” says Ms Brown.  

Group photo - New MAX office opens in Cairns with moving Welcome to Country

Our Workforce Australia and Disability Employment Services teams will support customers across the Cairns region in their search for employment. 

The MAX team will continue to build its network of employer partnerships in the region to ensure businesses also benefit from tailored employment support.

The Cairns office was officially opened at Level 1, 111 Grafton St, Cairns City on October 11, 2022.  

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