Big business goes in-house with Indigenous organisations by Heather Smith 22 March 2014
wo corporate professionals have left their city jobs to spend the next six weeks working with Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation in the East Kimberley. Alistair Cook and Mandi Hardgrove (pictued) are part of a secondment program that links Indigenous organisations with big business. The program is coordinated by not-for-profit organisation Jawun as a way to share experience, knowledge and skills between corporate Australia and Indigenous organisations. Mr Cook is a Workplace Relations Consultant with the National Australia Bank in Melbourne while Ms Hardgrove is a Senior Executive Assistant at The Boston Consulting Group in Sydney. Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Ken Riddiford said the program was a terrific initiative which offered access to skills and experience that were often difficult to source or fund in remote regions. “We are delighted to be involved in this program this year and look forward to sharing our community and organisation with Alistair and Mandi,” Mr Riddiford said. “This is an opportunity for mutual learning and development. Alistair and Mandi learn more about our Indigenous community and our challenges and
opportunities and we receive the benefit of their professional skills and expertise,” he said. “It’s such a positive and productive arrangement and we know there are going to be many valuable outcomes from it. “Our organisation is always on the lookout for new and improved ways of doing business and this is a great opportunity to receive some fresh insight and ideas.” The program coordinates secondments four times a year and each placement is for a six week period.
Organisations involved in the program include the Australian Public Service, Boston Consulting Group, Downer, Herbert Smith Freehills, KPMG, Leighton Contracting, National Australia Bank, Public Services Commission, RAC, Wesfarmers and Woodside. Jawun was established in 2001 in Cape York and has since expanded to eight regions across Australia including Goulburn Murray, inner Sydney, New South Wales Central Coast, The Cape, North East Arnhem Land, NPY Land (Alice Springs) and the Kimberley.