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

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.

D&I 101 - Conducting a Diversity Survey

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.

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

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?

First Ever Australian survey to capture truths about employment experiences of Indigenous Australians

Media releases

The first ever Australian survey that aims to capture the truths of Indigenous Australians’ employment experiences in Australia has been launched today.

It's time for real action against racism

News articles

DCA joined 30 other high profile community organisations asking the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to work together to tackle racism.

Perspectives

Black Lives Matter in Australia | Featuring John Paul Janke

Scene of a protest, sign in foreground says "No Justice, no peace"
Q&A

The momentum generated by the US Black Lives Matter movement has seen Australian organisations question their own systemic inequalities. However, many feel they lack the capability to channel this energy into achieving real change respectfully, inclusively and confidently.

Unfinished business

The Art of Inclusion: Unfinished business - Constitutional recorgnition - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
Podcasts

What exactly is constitutional recognition and why does it matter to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians? Advocate and union leader Thomas Mayor explains in this important epsiode of our podcast.

Sorry Business

The Art of Inclusion. Episode 1: Sorry Business: Death in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities
Podcasts

In the first episode for Season 2 of The Art of Inclusion, we consider the cultural protocols for death in Indigenous communities – and how workplaces can better understand and support this practice.

Coming events

17 Nov 2020

‘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.

04 Mar 2021

From the Heart is a campaign to engage Australians about why an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament enabled by the Constitution is a fair and practical change, and how it will unify our nation. Hear the latest on the campaign and how you can be an ally.

24 Jun 2021

The Australian Reconciliation Barometer is a national research study conducted every two years to measure and compare attitudes and perceptions towards reconciliation. At this network, we will hear about the latest indicators for reconciliation and relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

09 Aug 2021

Our Gari Yala 'speak the truth' report released last year drew on the insights and experiences of more than 1000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait workers. A key learning from the report was the importance of unearthing and acting on workplace truths – however uncomfortable they may be. At this event, we will uncover historical truths that underpin exclusion of Indigeous people and move forward and how to shape a better future.

09 Dec 2021

What are the experiences of Australian workers when it comes to inclusion? DCA will launch the third Inclusion at Work Index which maps and tracks inclusion in Australian workplaces.

Webcasts from past events

17 Sep 2020

This Webinar will look at Jumbunna's report on Accor's Aboriginal workforce and Indigenous engagement.

31 Aug 2020

COVID-19 has caused a disturbing rise in racism against Asian Australians while the US Black Lives Matter movement has shone a light on the continued injustices and inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in our society.