Speaking the truth about Indigenous experiences in the workplace

Media releases
For Immediate Release | 24 September 2019
Little effort has been undertaken to obtain extensive information about the firsthand employment experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, a new survey will combat this.
UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) are proud to announce their latest partnership, ‘Gari Yala,’ (‘speak the truth’ in Wiradjuri) which will conduct a biennial national survey about the firsthand employment experiences of Indigenous people.
The survey will cover key touchpoints along the full employee lifecycle including attraction, recruitment and selection, onboarding, recognition and reward, workplace environment, and offboarding.
Beyond statistics and policy frameworks, which provide a limited snapshot of Indigenous employment or unemployment, this process will highlight the unique contributions and aspirations that are often missed.
Industry Professor at UTS Nareen Young, said that it provided a much-needed opportunity to shift the narratives about employment and centre the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Much is written about Indigenous employment from a non-Indigenous perspective but it is time for Indigenous people to tell their own stories about the workplace and to showcase their own needs and talents,” she said. 
“Indigenous Australians represent an important and often undervalued part of the workforce. Too often the emphasis is on gap closing or getting Indigenous people into work, but this survey will tell us more about their lived experiences, broadening our knowledge regarding issues such as career progression, discrimination and pay, just to name a few,” Professor Young said.
Lisa Annese, DCA CEO said that the survey would provide a unit of measurement for how Australian workplaces are faring in their employment of Indigenous Australians.
“This survey will be the first of its kind to centre the inclusion and exclusion experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at work.
“This survey will be extraordinarily valuable to DCA members. It will help them to develop their capacity to create inclusive workplaces that understand and respect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories, and provide safe, welcoming and culturally competent environments for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people to work in.”
The survey aims to encourage greater organisational engagement in Indigenous employment across sectors, provide Indigenous identified core areas for change amongst Australian employers, and promote sponsors as leading diversity and inclusion employers.
The first survey will be undertaken in early 2020.
For further interviews and further information, please contact:
Shannan Dodson, Communications Manager, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) UTS, 0422 074 896 | [email protected]
Diane Falzon (for Diversity Council Australia)
PR Consultant - 0430 596 699 [email protected]
About Jumbunna
The Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research is a unique Indigenous led Research team operating in communities in Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, and collaborators in all States and Territories. Operating in the domestic and international spheres, the team prides itself on frank and fearless research and advocacy driven by the Indigenous communities it serves.
About DCA
Diversity Council Australia is the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide unique research, inspiring events and programs, curated resources and expert advice across all diversity dimensions to a community of over 570 member organisations. Our member organisations are estimated to employ nearly two million Australians, representing up to 15% of the workforce.

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