Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

DCA acknowledges the Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respect to them, and to Elders past, present and emerging.

DCA supports the proper recognition of the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our country’s history and of ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are central in any discussions around recognition and reconciliation. 

Many organisations are committed to engaging with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and providing employment opportunities is a key part of this engagement.

But genuine inclusion is about more than simply creating employment opportunities.

Genuine inclusion must begin with reconciliation. There can be no genuine workplace inclusion while our First Nations Peoples are excluded from opportunities, and we as a nation do not address race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity, and historical acceptance.

It also requires creating an organisation that understands and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Providing a safe and welcoming environment should be a critical part of any workplace’s diversity and inclusion strategy and planning.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people have experienced significant exclusion from Australian society for many years. Ending that exclusion is foundational to D&I.

DCA Research

D&I 101 - Collecting Diversity Data

D&I 101: Conducting a Diversity Survey - with speech bubble for different diversity dimensions including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islnder Peoples, Carers, Disbility, Age, Multicultural including Religion & Gender/LGBTIQ+

DCA's Guide to Conducting a Diversity Survey - How to ask your employees about their diversity.

Gari Yala (Speak the Truth): Centreing the experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians at work

Gari Yala (Speak the Truth)

New research from the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research and Diversity Council Australia is speaking truth to Australian employers about the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Inclusion@Work Index 2019-2020

DCA 2019-2020 Inclusion@Work Index - Mapping the state of inclusion in the ustralian workforce

How inclusive are Australian workplaces for a diversity of employees, and how has this changed over time? What impact does inclusion have on performance and wellbeing? The 2019-2020 Inclusion@Work Index surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,000 Australian workers to find out.

Creating inclusive multi-faith workplaces

Creating Inclusive MultiFaith Workplaces - Large number of circles with icons representing different faiths and religions

This resource provides guidance to Australian workplaces about how to deal with a range of common faith-related queries, and also to provide workplaces with principles to help balance issues where conflicting rights might intersect.

Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018

Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018 The State of Inclusion in the Australian Workforce. Sponsored by Suncorp

The DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018 is a landmark study, providing the first-ever national benchmarks for Australian workplaces in regards to the age, cultural background, disability status, gender, Indigenous background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity of workers.

WordsAtWork - Building inclusion through the power of language

Words at Work report image

DCA has developed a new Words At Work campaign for workplaces to show how inclusive language can improve workplace culture and drive productivity.

Closing the Work Gap in Corporate Australia

Diversity Council Australia partnered with Reconciliation Australia and Lend Lease on new research called, Closing the Work Gap in Corporate Australia. The research involved conducting interviews with Indigenous thought leaders, and engagement and employment practitioners.

Engaging Aboriginal Australians in our workplace

Sponsored by National Australia Bank, this landmark research project revealed the motivations and aspirations of Aboriginal Australians to provide valuable information to help build sustainable employment strategies for the future.

Case Studies

Herbert Smith Freehills taking action to improve ethnic diversity across the firm (2020)

In the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd in May 2020, Herbert Smith Freehills’ CEO and the broader leadership team began a deeper conversation with their people about improving ethnic diversity across the firm.

Indigenous women making their mark as tradies

A national Indigenous recruitment service is successfully placing Aboriginal women into a typically male-dominated workforce through an intensive traineeship.

Australian Public Service Commission's Indigenous Careers Webpages

Australian Public Service Commission

The Indigenous Careers Webpages also provides a range of information and advice about applying for jobs, and offers information about career development and support available for Indigenous Australians. 

NAB's Emerging Indigenous Executive Leaders Program

Emerging Indigenous Executive Leadership Program

NAB has led the development of the EIELP, a program that has shown Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander employees that their Indigenous culture has many things to offer the boardroom.

Indigenous representation at Woolworths

Catherine@dca.org.au

In support of their commitment to increasing Indigenous employment, Woolworths has built a comprehensive workforce plan.

Woolworths Resourcing the Future Program

Woolworths is committed to driving employment growth of Indigenous people in Australia through their Resourcing the Future Program.

News

King & Wood Mallesons Social Mobility Programs

News articles

As part of King & Wood Mallesons’ commitment to making a positive impact in the communities in which they live, work and operate, the firm has established three social mobility programs, Waiwa Mudena, the KWM First Nations Fellowship and the KWM School of Opportunity.

It’s time for Indigenous people to speak the truth about their workplace experience. And it’s time for workplaces to listen

Media releases

​A new report, out today, from the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research and DCA is speaking truth to Australian employers about the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Black Lives Matter and ways to make genuine progress on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workplace inclusion

Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney. Thanks to Jacky Zeng for sharing their work on Unsplash.
News articles

The US Black Lives Matter movement has shone a light on continued injustices and inequalities experienced by Indigenous people in our society. How can we ensure that this moment does not pass by without genuine progress on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workplace inclusion?

Perspectives

NAIDOC 2021: On ancient cultures, and modern workplaces

Blog

By Professor Deen Sanders. Professor Sanders says every person benefits from living in better relationship with their community and country. So how do we do that in the context of the present day workplace?

NAIDOC 2021: From standing alone to standing together

Blog

John Paul Janke has always had a special connection to NAIDOC Week; here, he shares what this week means to him.

NAIDOC 2021: Heal Country, Heal Nation - by Rebecca Hyland

Blog

In 2021 the theme for NAIDOC Week (4-11 July) is – Heal Country. It's a call for all Australians to protect our land and cultural heritage.

Coming events

28 Sep 2021

Australia has much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and workplaces are no exception. At this event we will explore personal experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and truths from both a historical and modern perspective and how these untold truths can become barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the workplace.

Webcasts from past events

24 Jun 2021

At this event we will be delving into Reconciliation Australia's ‘2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia report’ and drawing on data from the 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer.

03 Mar 2021

Learn how to become an advocate for Constitutional recognition and the Uluru Statement and hear the latest on the From the Heart campaign and how you can be an ally.