In the month of June, the TRACQS team came together with our partner, Ngoonbi Community Services Indigenous Corporation (Ngoonbi) for a Luncheon on Mabo Day, which takes place on June 3rd every year. This event provided an important opportunity to connect with the members of the Kuranda community and connect around the idea of reconciliation, and the sharing of cultures. 

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australian to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements. Mabo Day is a significant moment in First Nations history as it marks the anniversary of the historic 1992 Mabo Decision, commemorating Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his successful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’. 

Held at the HACC Centre, staff and clients were invited to the luncheon, where attendees contributed dishes from different cultures, breaking down barriers to improve the lives of us all and to continue reconciling with each other. 

Speeches were delivered by Judith Enoch, Ngoonbi CEO, Francis Loban, TRACQS Program Manager, and Ian Cannon, Event Organiser, to mark the occasion. These efforts collectively reminded attendees of the importance of continually learning about and supporting reconciliation efforts.

Reflecting on the success of this important day, we asked staff members from both Ngoonbi and TRACQS to look back on the experience of this event, and the importance of bringing the community together to learn, share and celebrate. Here’s what they had to say:


Deborah, Ngoonbi 

“Reconciliation Day is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and non-indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. 

I thank the organiser and the cooks who provided dishes for the Luncheon with Ngoonbi Community Services Indigenous Corporation, TRACQS and community members.”

Josephine, Ngoonbi 

“As an employee of Ngoonbi Community Services Indigenous Corporation, I would like to thank you for inviting Ngoonbi staff to your Reconciliation Luncheon held at the respite centre. 

As an indigenous person, reconciliation wasn’t taught at school when I attended. To me, reconciliation is about building relationships, respect and trust between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To achieve reconciliation, we need to develop strong relationships built on acknowledgment and respect, and free of racism. 

The luncheon and what Uncle Ian organised was a true example of achieving reconciliation through the two organisations, TRACQS and Ngoonbi, and the wider Kuranda Community. 

Sampling the dishes from staff with different nationalities was delicious, and the speeches told by some of our indigenous and Torres Strait Islander leaders on how important it is to them to achieve reconciliation in our community of Kuranda. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

Leandra, Ngoonbi 

“Thank you for inviting Ngoonbi staff to come together and celebrate the last day of Reconciliation Week. What Reconciliation Day means to me is reuniting and coming together as one. That brings joy and understanding of others’ culture to be recognised in the future.” 


Amanda, TRACQS Employment Consultant 

“Thank you for organizing today, it was a lovely celebration of people from all walks of life. TRACQS and Ngoonbi coming together to share lunch and break bread was great to see, and it was a wonderful representation of what reconciliation means.”

Angela, TRACQS Post Placement Support Officer 

“What a great idea this was! Not only did we enjoy devouring delicious food and different dishes, but we also interacted and met Ngoonbi people that we had never met before. (I tried Turtle meat for the first time and enjoyed it!) We also caught up with Ngoonbi staff that we have not seen for a long time. It was wonderful! The day went so smoothly with everyone chatting to each other while eating the food that TRACQS staff had brought to share. 

Thank you Ian, for organising,  your wonderful speech reminding us of what Reconciliation Day means, and how we need to do more to come together to achieve great things for our participants. It truly was a special day with relevance to our joint causes.”

Bianca, TRACQS Employment Consultant 

“Absolutely enjoyed the comfort of my work colleagues and other members in my community, coming together sitting and sharing cultural food from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the end of Reconciliation Week and Mabo Day. The more truth we learn, the closer we move as a society towards reconciliation and grow a hopeful future.”

As TRACQS continues to work with Ngoonbi to support the First Nations communities, we keep the people, history and culture at the forefront of our decision making. Thank you to all who attended and shared your thoughts from the day, and we look forward to more events like this.