It’s National Reconciliation Week, a time that invites all Australians to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. To honour this year’s theme, “Be a Voice for Generations”, members of CommBank’s Indigenous Leadership Team (ILT) and Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC) reflect on what that theme means to them.

Clark Donovan Clark Donovan

Clark Donovan – Associate Director Indigenous Carbon – ILT member | Gumbaynggirr/Gunditjmara 

What advice do you have for future generations?

Although we cannot alter the past, we possess the ability to shape the future of Australia. It is crucial to invest in one's personal growth through education and the acquisition of skills, enabling us to make significant contributions to our own communities. Furthermore, we must never underestimate the importance of maintaining a strong connection to our culture and community. Embracing our heritage and sharing knowledge with the broader Australian community fosters unity and understanding. By prioritising education, community engagement, and the preservation of our cultural identity, we can collectively forge a brighter future for Australia.

How has advice/support you received from Elders impacted your life?

The advice and support I have received from Elders has had a tremendous impact on my life. Our Elders have made countless sacrifices in their own lives to help me reach where I am today. Having lived through so many experiences, it would be unfair for me to not seize the opportunities they have bestowed upon me. Their guidance has shaped my outlook and instilled within me a profound sense of appreciation and duty. A duty to culture, country, and community. Acknowledging the immense efforts they have made, it would be unjust for me to overlook the opportunities they have afforded me.

Kat McGuire Kat McGuire

Kat McGuire – Indigenous Careers Engagement Manager – ILT member | Yuin

What advice do you have for future generations? 

Don’t wait, listen and learn now! Our Elders carry so much knowledge and have had to overcome obstacles so that our generation have equal rights. It is important to listen and learn their stories so we can pass that down to the next generation to make sure we do our part to set up a better future for the next generation. A future that is safe and still holds a strong cultural connection! 

How has advice/support you received from Elders impacted your life?

My great-grandmother always said to remember where you come from and my nan taught me about the strength/support in community.  It is a small saying often in casual conversations so I never realised when I was growing up that we were being taught a lesson. Knowing my home and my community drives me in my life to do the best I can to stay connected and stay on track so my baby has that same support network growing up. 

Tanika Perry Tanika Perry

Tanika Perry — Indigenous Careers Community Engagement Manager – Indigenous Employee Network  | Worimi

What advice do you have for future generations?

Don’t sweat the small stuff, make sure you learn and listen so you can take up all opportunities 110 per cent, and don’t be shame to ask questions. 

How has advice/support you received from Elders impacted your life?

Receiving support from my Elders, community members and family is something I value a lot. It’s a massive guide for me to know I am on the right track with what I need to do as a leader. Elders are the knowledge holders, so listen wisely. 

Natalie Chenhall Natalie Chenhall

Natalie Chenhall — Manager, Indigenous Engagement & Development — Indigenous Employee Network | Yuin

What advice do you have for future generations? 

Surround yourself with deadly people who help elevate you, rather than drag you down. They are the people who help you to believe in yourself to succeed and achieve your goals. They also give you the confidence to stand up for what you believe in.

How has advice and support you received from Elders impacted your life?

Advice and support from my Elders has been crucial in every decision I’ve made in my life. Their advice has helped shape the person I am today, and their advice will shape my future decisions because I know I don’t have all the answers. My mum has been my biggest supporter and advice giver. And even though she has now passed on, her words will always echo in my mind, when I’m confronted with decision making. 

Gail Mabo Gail Mabo

Gail Mabo – Indigenous Advisory Council member | Meriam woman from the Torres Strait Islands

What advice do you have for future generations?

Remember to be humble and not be overzealous about knowing or information which you may think is right but also at the same time may not be right.

How has advice and support you received from Elders impacted your life?

It has helped me understand and navigate through difficult circumstances to understand where I need to be in order to understand where we have come from.

About the ILT

Our Indigenous Leadership Team (ILT) supports interactions across CommBank in Indigenous-focused business and projects. The ILT consists of a diverse group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees who are in leadership roles and/or are supporting reconciliation priorities across the Group, as well as elected members of the Indigenous Employee Network (IEN).

About the IAC

Our Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC) was formed in 2014. The IAC guides the development and implementation of our reconciliation program. Our IAC consists of seven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, and in addition, CommBank senior leaders also sit on the IAC, representing divisions that have responsibilities under the Reconciliation Action Plan.

For more information on the ILT and IAC, visit:

Go to CBA Newsroom for the latest news and announcements from Commonwealth Bank.