Home' HR Monthly : March 2018 Contents 6
Many Australian HR professionals have been exposed to gender
equity as a key priority for their organisation's inclusion and
diversity initiatives and have an awareness of other priority
areas like ageing, LGBTI, and ethnicity. But Indigenous inclusion is a
priority area where the exemplars are not prevalent in our profession.
The experience of two groups -- the Central Australian Aboriginal
Congress (CACC) and the global giant Chevron give us a number of
pointers towards a more equitable treatment of our first peoples. And
perhaps their experiences can pose some questions about Indigenous
inclusion issues that may be dormant in your own company.
At CACC, developing Aboriginal capacity and providing opportunity
is central to delivering its business strategy. CACC set about linking
their strategy to workforce initiatives to grow and develop a local,
highly skilled leadership and workforce to deliver relevant primary
health care services to central Australian residents. This emerged
through a recognition that addressing social inequities could best
be achieved by providing unique employment and development
opportunities to Aboriginal people that would lead to improved quality
with its client service.
The CACC Workforce Engagement and Development Plan
committed to increase the number of Aboriginal staff across all parts
of congress, develop all staff professionally, and also to find out why
people join, stay and leave. The results have surely followed. Since 2014
Aboriginal workforce has increased by 5.2 per cent to 51 per cent of
total workforce. There are 10 more people holding leadership roles now
(30 per cent of the total leadership team); and 24 Aboriginal people
are employed in professional roles or training to be professionals, an
increase from 10 people five years ago. Greater access to employment
also is facilitated through provision of opportunities and support for
increased levels of education, occupation and income.
Securing a pathway to future employment via education was also
adopted as the core principle for Indigenous inclusion by Chevron
with its operations in Western Australia. In 2011 Chevron realised it
had been slow to participate in the Aboriginal employment market,
operating in an environment where 40 per cent of the population are
Aboriginal. So the company developed a strategy to lift its Indigenous
workplace participation on a sustainable basis.
Chevron's Aboriginal School Scholarship Program (ASSP) was
developed to create a pipeline of highly talented future Aboriginal
employees; as well as strengthen and build relationships with the
Aboriginal communities.The ASSP program provides scholarships to
Aboriginal secondary students, with financial support towards payment
of school fees and other study-related resources.
In addition, Chevron visits schools regularly and each term the
scholarship recipients visit Chevron's Perth office to gain an insight
into a 'day in the life of a Chevron role model', receive information and
exposure to career opportunities, interview techniques, resume writing
and engagement with industry professionals.
Chevron worked with an experienced curriculum development
writer to design a curriculum with clear outcomes targeted at high
school students. After receiving course approval, Chevron established
a professional development program for teachers to implement the
curriculum across six schools and 145 students.
Its Women in Engineering program also now includes Aboriginal
students, with participants receiving scholarships to assist them.
And Chevron's Aboriginal cadetship program is a paid vacation
work program offering on-the-job learning and study allowance for
Aboriginal students studying in disciplines of interest to Chevron.
To ensure the skill development of local Aboriginal people for
potential opportunities on the Wheatstone LNG Project in Onslow,
Chevron established the Wheatstone Operations Aboriginal
Employment Program (WOAEP) that develops skills of local Aboriginal
people, leading to qualifications and experiences for employment in
the operations phase at the Wheatstone LNG Plantor with contractors
supplying services to the project.
In 2011 a cultural awareness program was introduced to aid
retention, and includes knowledge about Aboriginal lifestyle
and cultural values for the broad workforce and more specific
awareness training for supervisory personnel with Aboriginal reports
in their teams.
The company's successes have included 104
Aboriginal Australians participating in the education
to employment pathway, resulting in employment
of Aboriginal candidates with interest and skills for
this industry. Aboriginal employment with Chevron
has increased from four in 2010 to 50 currently
employed. Taking initiataives such as those of CACC
and Chevron also increases the value of engagement
with staff and partners. •••
Examples of how companies can reach out to our first peoples
BY PETER WILSON AM FCPHR AHRI CHAIRMAN
Peter Wilson is also a fellow of the CPA
and the Company Directors, and he
serves as a director of Vision Super
and the Victoria Teachers Mutual
Bank. While these organisations are all
mutuals, the views expressed in this
perspective are personal, and do not
represent the official views of any of
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