Building Workplace Capability for Indigenous Australia: Exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous people and work

15 Jul 2020


At this webinar we looked at the impact of COVID-19 on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from a health and economic perspective and we explored the impacts that its having on Indigenous people in their workplaces.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 from a health and economic perspective. Indigenous communities sprang into action to protect themselves from COVID-19 and the federal government set up a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory group on COVID-19 to fast-track an emergency response plan for Indigenous communities.

At this Building Workplace Capability for Indigenous Australia Network, brought to you in partnership with BAE Systems Australia, we heard from prominent Indigenous representatives from government, corporate and community to discuss the challenges and impacts that COVID-19 is having on Indigenous people at work, including:

  • The complexities of juggling work and community obligations during this time
  • How Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander people maintain connection to Country during lockdown
  • Ways employers can better support their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees including improving organisational cultural competency
  • How COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities
  • Lessons of resilience from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience
  • A case study of an organisation boosting attraction and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent during the pandemic

Emceed by Kate Russell, Chair of DCA’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander External Advisory Panel and Director Projects, Department of Regional NSW.

Our guest panel included:

  1. The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Australians
  2. Professor Deen Sanders OAM, Deloitte Australia, Partner, Governance, Regulation and Conduct and member of Deloitte's Indigenous Leadership Team
  3. Mundanara Bayles, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Blackcard
  4. Topaz McAuliffe, Indigenous Business Development Manager, at Coles.

Event Reviews

"Thank you DCA for offering the livestream. What a powerful discussion. The knowledge from the panel was so insightful and inspiring and call to action from the panel so practical." - Sherry-Ann Toomey, Senior Officer Aboriginal Employment. Transport for NSW

"Hands down one of the (if not THE) best and most important conversations which DCA has facilitated." -Abbie Wright, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Arup

'"I was really impressed by the caibre of the discussion and found it quite inspiring." - Anon, event participant

'"It was wonderful to hear from such a distinguished panel. Very well run and informative." - Anon, event participant


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