As our Australian team closes out the final year of our four-year Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), we’d like to reflect on the results of our efforts through 2021.
Thiess’ RAP is part of a national program for organisations to support the reconciliation movement. A RAP is a strategic document that supports an organisation’s business plan and includes practical actions to support reconciliation within the workplace and also in community.
Thiess’ RAP actions are guided by our RAP vision:
“To empower relationships between our employees, stakeholders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by strengthening understanding about Indigenous culture and people.
“Our passion for, and commitment to, reconciliation is the foundation for creating practical, sustainable training and employment opportunities designed to grow the careers of our Indigenous talent – today and into the future.”
Our 2021 efforts and actions focused on four key areas – relationships, respect, opportunities and governance.
Measuring efforts – Australia Diversity & Inclusion Scorecard
The Community, Diversity & Inclusion team this year piloted Thiess’ first D & I Scorecard in Australia to help how Thiess is performing against the RAP and other D&I targets across all levels Australia & Pacific – projects, regions, functional departments and nationally. It’s proving to be a particularly effective tool in understanding how our RAP commitments are being realised and identifying actions that can be taken at a project level to continue driving positive change.
Building relationships through cultural learning
So far up to 80 per cent of all APAC employees have completed online cultural awareness. This year, Thiess moved into the second stage of our cultural learning framework to increase our people leaders’ cultural competency. Partnering with the Keogh Bay People, Thiess is delivering a full day Working with Indigenous Employees to improve understanding of Indigenous culture, perceptions, and experience in the workplace.
Participant feedback has been positive. Curragh Project Director Gus Jorquera found the course powerful.
“Apart from providing insight on how understand Indigenous cultural issues and impacts in the workplace, the course made me reflect on some of my personal issues and behaviours. The racist radar was interesting and upon reflection has somewhat impacted me during my sporting and professional career; likewise, inter-generational trauma. To have these issues highlighted and have ways to identify and manage them was very interesting. It was also really powerful when the two presenters discussed their personal stories.”
Clontarf Partnership - moving towards employment outcomes
Over the past 3 years, we have been building our relationships with Clontarf Academies in our local communities. This has laid the foundation for employment outcomes with Mt Owen now employing two trainees, three apprentices and two Year 12 work placements. The Hazelmere facility in NSW has also hosted a Year 12 work placement this year. Our recruitment and hiring managers across Australia have met with Clontarf Employment Officers so we can continue to promote employment opportunities for the Clontarf students and alumni.
Respect - celebrating NAIDOC & National Reconciliation Week
As a RAP organisation, Thiess is committed to raising awareness and celebrating National Reconciliation and NAIDOC Week each year. Through effective COVID-19 Safe Plans, Thiess has learned and celebrated with the rest of Australia with highlights including:
- National Reconciliation Week virtual panel discussion – listening and learning about real reconciliation action
- Bush tucker tastings - our Caval Ridge team were fortunate to share in delicacies that can only be fished and gathered by people from the Torres Strait
- Learning language - our Perth team spent time learning Noongar language
- Listening to our teammates – Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees shared their perspectives on what reconciliation and NAIDOC Week means to them.
About the RAP program
The RAP Program contributes to advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation by supporting organisations to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Each of the four RAP types (Reflect, Innovate, Stretch, Elevate) set out the minimum elements required from an organisation to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within your organisation and community.
Understand how RAPs advance reconciliation - watch the video