When Chenoa Stockton got the news she had the position of Inclusivity and Diversity Officer with BCE’s Organisational Development team she knew it was the perfect role for her.
“I have been a teacher and know first-hand the importance of inclusivity in the workplace, so I am excited about this role,” said Chenoa.
Chenoa is a Waka Waka and Kalkadoon woman on her mother’s side and lived most of her life on Quandamooka land at Moreton Bay.
“My great-grandparents were part of the stolen generation and were taken from their homeland in Kalkadoon, near Mount Isa, and made to live in the mission at Cherbourg,” said Chenoa.
“It is important we listen to the stories of the past and learn from these as we walk towards reconciliation.”
Chenoa received a QATSIF scholarship to complete her senior education at Lourdes Hill College while pursuing her passion and talent for playing netball at an elite level.
“Netball gave me some great experiences, in Year 12 I played in the Queensland Indigenous netball team and went on to captain the Australian Indigenous school girls team at an international netball competition in New Zealand,” said Chenoa.
“I think my teachers remember me as someone who was often late to class or tired because of training – so they were quite surprised when I told them I wanted to pursue teaching as a career.”
Chenoa studied at QUT, doing her prac at Carmel College and obtaining a BCE scholarship once she had graduated as a secondary HPE and maths teacher.
“My first teaching role was at St Thomas More College where I worked on the First Nations program Buwanah Place and taught the first ‘foundation’ class. I loved it, especially helping students who had disengaged as I felt I could understand them,” said Chenoa.
Chenoa went on to teach at Chisholm Catholic College before taking on a diversity and inclusivity role at Queensland Netball before joining us at BCE in May.
“As your Diversity and Inclusivity officer my goal is to create a work environment where everyone is recognised, supported and able to thrive.”
Chenoa said NAIDOC week (3 – 10 July) was a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – paying tribute to the hard work and experiences of previous generations and acknowledging those who continue to lead the way.
“This NAIDOC Week people are being encouraged to ‘Get Up, Stand Up and Show Up’ and I think BCE employees can do that by integrating RAP initiatives in their work every day,” said Chenoa.
“It isn’t about one week of the year, showing up is about looking at your business unit and asking ‘What can I do to support First Nations employees in this space?’ and ‘How can I provide access to groups that have not been represented?’
“If we ask these questions regularly we will go a long way towards standing up for inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.”