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

[email protected] Index 2021-2022

The 2021-2022 [email protected] Index maps the state of inclusion in Australian organisations and provides the Australian business case for inclusion.

Gari Yala (Speak the Truth) Gendered Insights

A gendered look at the Gari Yala dataset.

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.

[email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.

[email protected] Index 2017-2018

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

The DCA-Suncorp [email protected] 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

Case Study - Building Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness at ANZ

Case Study

A case study on how ANZ elevated their focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion from theory to practice and implemented change that really works.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills
Case Study

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

Case Study

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

News

New project to take an intersectional approach to women in leadership

Media releases

DCA, SSI and CEW have received funding under the Women's Leadership and Development Program for a project to address the systemic barriers restricting CARM women’s upward mobility into leadership roles in Australian organisations.

New Australian research shows businesses how to address racism at work

Media releases

In response to the global push for racial justice in 2020, Diversity Council Australia studied the barriers facilitating racism in Australian workplaces and key anti-racism actions to address racism at work effectively.

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.

Perspectives

National Reconciliation Week – what it means to me

Blog

To mark National Reconciliation Week, DCA’s Simone Empacher Earl shares what the week means to her as a member of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

Cultural allyship of Indigenous people in an election year - and beyond

Gari Yala artwork
Blog

2022 is an important year for cultural allyship. Read how and why.

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?

Coming events

28 Mar 2023

Our Indigenous Network will focus on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and why all we need to vote yes in the upcoming Referendum. We will explore how to have the conversation with your friends, family and colleagues to encourage them to vote yes too.

06 Jun 2023

At our next Indigenous Network, we will learn about Reconciliation Australia's latest Reconciliation Barometer that sheds light on the attitudes and perceptions First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians hold about each other and about issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Webcasts from past events

16 Feb 2022

In the first of a series of Case Study Conversations, we will deep dive into ANZ’s approach to effectively building cultural awareness, why they went down this path, what was achieved and lessons learnt along the way.

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.