J-Power and Sumitomo Corporation Joint Venture (JPSC JV) visits Gippsland for Cultural Awareness Training with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Association

From left to right: Kento Koga, Masahiro Toki, Aki Martland, Wayne Thorpe, Hiroshi Kuwata, Jeremy Stone, Yuki Nishiiri

On February 1, key project members from the JPSC JV travelled from Tokyo, Japan to East Gippsland, Victoria to participate in cultural awareness training led by Wayne Thorpe, cultural educator and respected Elder of the Gunai/Kurnai nation.

The training provided the JPSC JV team with a deeper understanding of the Gunaikurnai people’s history and contributions as traditional custodians of Gippsland through cultural presentations, open discussions, and a showcase of cultural sites and artifacts like traditional baskets, canoes, and scarred trees.

Masahiro Toki, Director – Department of Thermal Energy & Value Creation, appreciated Mr Thorpe’s thorough teachings on the Gunaikurnai and his patience in bridging the English-Japanese language and cultural differences to reach a common understanding. 

Toki-san said, “I felt privileged to have an opportunity to walk through the various stages of the Gunaikurnai’s history, from their origin story to present day. Mr. Thorpe’s depth of knowledge and lived experience made for a rich and meaningful exchange and we are very grateful to him for his time and openness.”

The JPSC JV will continue to consult GLaWAC as it progresses towards a commercial stage of a clean hydrogen production facility in the Latrobe Valley and is committed to working in partnership towards a better future.

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