Australia Post (AusPost) has opened its new A$82m (US$55m) parcel processing facility in Perth. The site’s name in the language of the Noongar – the original inhabitants of the southwest of Western Australia – is Boorna Wangkiny Mia.
At 23,000m2, Boorna Wangkiny Mia is Perth’s first facility with state-of-the-art automation and the ability to process close to 200,000 parcels a day during peak periods. The extra processing capacity has already helped AusPost process more than 650,000 parcels over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
Boorna Wangkiny Mia honors Australia’s oldest method of communication and cultural diplomacy and is translated as ‘Home of the Message Stick.’ When visiting their lands, seas and rivers, Noongar elders would deliver message sticks to guests. They serve as cultural and historical symbols that unite people and communities.
Paul Graham, group CEO and managing director of AusPost, said the dual naming of the facility is an example of the company’s commitment to reconciliation and that it represents a significant investment in Perth as online shopping continues to grow.
“We’re proud of our leading role in promoting awareness of reconciliation, which formally began with our first Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy in 1988,” said Graham. “Working closely with the Traditional Owners to name this brand-new facility is another example of that commitment and reflects our shared purpose of connecting people and communities.
“Online shopping continues to grow in Western Australia,” he added. “This A$82m (US$55m) facility is a significant investment in our overall network and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet growing e-commerce needs. The automation inside the new facility means significantly reduced manual handling keeps our people safer, parcels are processed faster with more scanning events, which is fantastic for our customers.”
Michelle Rowland, Australia’s Minister for Communications, said, “AusPost is a cherished national institution, from the red post boxes dotted along our streets, to the red vans rolling down every road to deliver online orders. AusPost is a recognizable and trusted organization that provides essential services to communities right across the country.
“It is, however, a highly competitive business and ongoing investments like this facility are an important part of Australia Post’s transformation strategy to ensure it stays competitive.”
Whadjuk Noongar elder professor Len Collard, who worked with Australia Post through Moodjar Consultancy, said the chosen name was fitting as message sticks were the forebears of modern-day letters and parcels.
“Message sticks were the first way messages were shared. One man couldn’t travel all the pathways, it had to be passed ceremonially to the representative of the next country,” he explained.
“They carried specific symbols to be translated to each carrier as it was passed over from one pathway on country to another, so the name Boorna Wangkiny Mia works very well for a facility like this that helps to transport items on behalf of other people from around Australia and the world.”