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Coles Group has launched a series of video stories in time for NAIDOC week, showcasing the life stories of some of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

The series will form part of the group’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander plan and will highlight a range of career opportunities from across the business.

The stories celebrate the lives of diverse team members, exploring their connection to country, family and community.

Uncle Robert Cole Team Member Coles Alderley Brisbane Australia.

Cristilee Houghton, Coles Group’s recently appointed Head of Indigenous Affairs, a Pitta Pitta Maiawali Karuwali woman, has commissioned the work with Sydney-based specialist cultural agency, CulturalPulse.

“A lot of people I meet are curious to learn about Indigenous-led communication”, Houghton explains.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures have a long tradition of story-telling. We start with yarning–getting to know a person, sharing stories and listening, taking the time to connect. NAIDOC Week is a time in the year when we collectively celebrate the cultures, knowledge and traditions. Launching these stories at this time is very meaningful.” she added.

Cristilee Houghton, Coles Group’s recently appointed Head of Indigenous Affairs, a Pitta Pitta Maiawali Karuwali woman

The first video in the series introduces 72-year-old Uncle Robert Cole, a one-time singer and active community member, who is part of the Coles Supermarket team.

He narrates his life from his early years, in humble circumstances in Ayr, to his life on the road as singer to becoming the first elected Indigenous Australian council representative in the Burdekin Shire.

He also pays tribute to his late brother Malcolm, a famous dancer and activist.

Uncle Robert Cole, aged 72, originally from Ayr South of Townsville pictured at the popular Musgrave Park South Brisbane

The series complements Coles’ new brand positioning and their Value the Australian Way campaign, which similarly, features real people, filmed in a natural and authentic style accompanied by the gentle rhythms of Indigenous artist Stephen Pigram’s ‘Feel Like Going Back Home’.

“Australia has always been a diverse country of micro-communities”, says Reg Raghavan, CEO at CulturalPulse.”

“From Australia’s Indigenous ancient past to the present day, it is time more of these cultural community stories are told and seen through mainstream channels. This series is something that will resonate with many Australians, particularly during NAIDOC Week. It is a privilege that these team members are sharing their stories and their culture with us all.” he added.

CulturalPulse partnered closely with Cristilee and her team, and in consultation with Cultural Advisor Brad Cooke from Campfire x to ensure all protocols and cultural nuances were appropriately addressed. According to Cooke: “The result of this collaboration is a heart-warming and uplifting insight into culture, strength and the beauty of sharing experience, connecting with local communities.”

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NAIDOC Week 2021 runs from Sunday 4 July to Sunday 11 July 2021. 

Click here for more information.

CulturalPulse: We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this video and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

For more information contact us by emailing [email protected]