‘Indigenous employment’ is a growing, vital area of focus within the employment and diversity, inclusion, and human resources landscapes but there are two glaring omissions – there is a notable lack of research that asks Indigenous people what they want and need from workplaces in order to flourish, and what is available has been primarily informed by non-Indigenous voices.
To address this gap, DCA and the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research created the Gari Yala project, which means ‘speak the truth’ in Wiradjuri language, to gain an understanding of the diversity of Indigenous workers’ experiences firsthand.
Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt, Director Research and Academic Programs at the Jumbunna Institute opened proceedings with the findings of this ground-breaking national survey of over one thousand Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait workers. The findings revealed insights into:
- Sharing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity at work
- How culturally safe Australian workplaces are
- The state of exclusion for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workers at work
- The burden of identity strain and cultural load
- How authentic Australian organisations are, and
- The importance of organisational initiatives and activity in making Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people feel included in Australian organisations.
MC Kate Russell, a proud Aboriginal woman from Lake Macquarie and DCA Board member, invited Dr Jane OLeary, DCA Research Director to present the findings. Our esteemed panel join her in discussion regarding truth-telling about work.
The panel included:
- Nareen Young, Industry Professor, Indigenous Policy (Indigenous Workforce Diversity) at Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at University of Technology
- Josh Gilbert, Senior Manager at PwCs Indigenous Consulting
- Professor Peter Anderson, Executive Director, Carumba Institute, QUT
- Eveanne Liddle, Head of Indigenous Affairs and Strategic Inclusion, NAB
- Topaz McAuliffe, Indigenous Business Development Manager, Coles.
‘This event was brilliantly run and the speakers were fantastic. I was honoured to attend and learnt so much.’ Adam Plunkett, RSPCA Victoria
‘As a Careers Consultant working to support ATSI students with their careers I found this session extremely beneficial.’ – Anon, event participant
‘I found this event truly engaging and although I am Maori, I found a lot of the subject matter resonated with me personally. I was deeply moved by it all and humbled to be a part of it. Thank you!’ – Anon, event participant
‘Great event, thank you! I continue to be impressed by the calibre of DCA events.’ – Anon, event participant
‘Thank-you for the excellent calibre of speakers on this appropriately topical event for NAIDOC week.’ – Anon, event participant