Meet Peter Pilot-Wakaisu, our new Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison
Goodstarters across our national network will soon be benefitting from the advice and experience of our Torres Strait Island Cultural Liaison, Peter Pilot-Wakaisu, who joined our organisation last month just in time to celebrate National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June).
Peter, a Saisarem man from Erub (Darnley Island), will play an important role in deepening every Goodstarters knowledge and understanding of Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements.
Peter said he was proud to join Goodstart because of its commitment to reconciliation and the potential to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Goodstart is on its Stretch RAP journey which clearly outlines its path forward to support better outcomes for children, families and communities across Australia,” Peter said.
“A big part of its journey is its commitment to deepen its cultural awareness of Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage, which is unique to Aboriginal culture.
“To join Goodstart, it makes me very proud because I will be able to support Goodstarters who are on this journey of learning and together, we can achieve great things for the children in our care.
“One of the first celebrations of Torres Strait Islander culture is during National Reconciliation Week including 29 May which commemorates when the Torres Strait Island flag was officially presented to the people of the Torres Strait at the sixth Torres Strait Cultural Festival on 29 May, 1992.”
He said he’s looking forward to sharing knowledge about Torres Strait culture.
“We’re a diverse culture of five regions, with a vested interest in land and sea, and we have a great respect and commitment to the wellbeing of our children, parents and wider community,” he said.
“Education is seen as being imperative and the foundation for thriving future generations.
“To join not only Australia’s largest early learning provider but a not-for-profit with a big social purpose, to ensure all Australia’s children get the best possible start in life, is very exciting.”
Peter’s working career has been dedicated to working to identify opportunities to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This has seen me work with communities and a range of stakeholders including government and multiple service providers on a range of strategies to reduce the disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in areas of education, health and employment.”
“We can achieve so much in the early years to affect life-long changes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities and I am looking forward to being part of this work.”
Peter will also help shape Goodstart’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment initiatives to support the organisation’s ambition to become a preferred employer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.
Peter joins the Goodstart team with a depth of knowledge and experience in Indigenous affairs, community development and programming, Indigenous employment and education, child protection and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support. He was previously the Indigenous Affairs Advisor to Prime Minister and Cabinet and Program Manager for the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council.