EEON in partnership with the AIS were thrilled to host Karen Milward (Victorian Yorta Yorta woman) to talk about Achieving Authentic Workplace Inclusion for Aboriginal People on the 9 November in Melbourne. Karen’s narrative was fresh, deep, complex, spiritual, resilient and optimistic, and provided a framework for conversation and working that is often invisible or under-utilised in employment contexts. This adds another dimension to our society’s thinking and practice – Indigenous Knowledge. Karen reminded the audience that the Indigenous members in our community have “A right to be Aboriginal wherever you go”.
Karen reminded us that cultural awareness conversations have been occurring over the last 2 decades and action around this area such as creating safe spaces for a diverse cultural workplace is a relatively new phenomenon. It’s also important to note the Indigenous community have a responsibility towards each other. This needs to be factored in when employing an Aboriginal person. Having a Reconciliation Action Plan is also critical in attracting and sustaining Aboriginal talent and making the team cohesive. Another tip was to invite and Aboriginal elder to have a ‘yarn’ with the workforce to help breakdown barriers and share experiences.
The session was informative and provided a) insight into the practical steps to increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in to the workplace, b) information about the work that can be undertaken to ensure the workplace is both welcoming and safe and, c) strategies that lead to successful employment outcomes.
The videos shown at the presentation can be found here http://inwpcp.org.au/toolkit-main-page/