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As we eagerly leave 2020 behind and cautiously step into 2021, Senior Consultant, Sarah-Jane Dabarera, reflects on the themes in community relations for the year ahead. Culture and heritage   2020 has set the scene for an increased focus on culture and heritage in 2021. The Black Lives Matter movement, Australian deaths in custody and the destruction of sacred sites at Juukan Gorge have resulted in increased focus and scrutiny on genuine engagement with Traditional Owners. The recently released amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, issued by the WA Government, will require renewed effort in making agreements and strengthening relationships with Traditional Owners. Black

For the McGowan State Government, WA’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is all about infrastructure. Accelerated programs to build roads, rail and bridges are expected to bring about jobs and assets for the future. But what will these expedited projects mean for the communities where they will be built?   Our stakeholder engagement experts explain why avoiding tick-box engagement, and developing a strong consultation program, is more important than ever when timeframes for delivery are crunched. How many projects have been fast tracked? More than 80 major rail, road, coastal and cycling projects over the next two years. A streamlined process for contract awards

It may look, smell, and walk like a database but your stakeholder database can be so much more than that.  Here are some simple reasons why you should start looking at your database differently and appreciating it for what it really can be.  It’s your record Well, of course – right? A database, by its very nature, is a record system. But it’s more than just a box-ticking exercise. It’s a permanent and evolving reference of every interaction you have had with your stakeholders. You’ll be forever grateful for the perfect database when it’s easy to track not only what you did and

In the big picture, NAIDOC Week is a national and annual event during which Australia celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities and recognises the valuable contributions they make to our country. On a more personal level, the week presents the opportunity for my community to showcase and share our rich and diverse culture with pride – celebrating together as Aboriginal people and choosing to open our arms and encourage others to participate and understand our value. NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson says Indigenous Australians seek recognition of their unique place in Australian history and society today. “For generations, Aboriginal and

In keeping with the theme of Reconciliation Week, this year’s Reconciliation WA breakfast - the largest breakfast event ever hosted at Crown Towers - was very much “grounded in truth.” With 1350 people in attendance, the morning started with a unique energy in the air, not least because this was to be the first public address made by newly-appointed Indigenous Affairs Minister, the Hon. Ken Wyatt, the first Indigenous person to take this responsibility. High-profile journalist Narelda Jacobs hosted the proceedings, with Noongar Elder and respected community member Dr Richard Walley delivering a powerful Welcome to Country, setting the tone for the

According to Industry Capability Network (ICN) data, there has been a near 50 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous businesses since 2013. There is no denying that the demand to work with or hire Indigenous people is on the rise, but that doesn’t tell the full story. Different structures, policies and how non-Indigenous businesses go about engaging Indigenous people, employees or businesses are impacting on successful Indigenous employment. With Reconciliation Week around the corner, I think it is timely to reflect on what this means for us in the corporate sector. Like many in the community, I feel encouraged by

Telstra chairman John Mullen touched on a variety of issues when he spoke at the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Rottnest Forum recently – covering everything from the attainability and practicalities of work-life balance to the limitations of the minimum wage. But the subject that struck the biggest chord with me was the damage that can be done to a business’ reputation by a small percentage of unhappy customers or stakeholders. As Mullen highlighted, a business doesn’t have to deliberately do something wrong to create significant reputational issues. Equally, the potential damage from that wrongdoing has little to do with whether or

The concept of social licence to operate has a lot of currency in the resources sector. Increasingly resource companies see their social licence to operate as a strategic issue for the board, central to their success, with loss of social licence a key business risk. Social licence is, however, a relatively new concept, and emerged just over 20 years ago. First used by Canadian mining executive James Cooney in discussion with World Bank officials, it was originally coined as a metaphor to argue that the trust and acceptance of society was just as important as a regulatory licence for resource operations. The concept

With a Federal Election now confirmed for May 18, it’s time to consider what can or can’t happen during the caretaker period and what it means to you. The caretaker period starts at the time the House of Representatives is dissolved and remains in place until the election result is clear – either the incumbent party retaining power, or in the case where there is to be a change of government, until the new government is appointed by the Governor-General. The caretaker period reflects that (with Parliament dissolved) the government cannot be held accountable for its actions in the usual manner and that the autonomy of

An interesting thought struck me when I attended the 10th annual WA Major Projects Conference in Perth last week. In the nine previous editions of the conference it was the projects themselves and the process of building them that took centre stage. Over the years this covered everything from the biggest iron ore and LNG projects to major government undertakings like Optus Stadium and Elizabeth Quay. It’s not as if WA doesn’t have large-scale projects currently underway. BHP’s South Flank development was the topic of one session last week and the likes of METRONET, the Perth Airport upgrade, Northlink and the Westport strategy were also strongly featured. But my

We live in an ever-changing communications landscape, where the next big trend can go from nowhere-to-be-seen to near ubiquitous in matter of days (or even hours). Against a recent backdrop in which public trust has been tested like never before (from Trump to banking horror stories and Australian cricket disgrace), our experts give their takes on the communication trends they expect to see coming into focus in the near future. Number crunching for the win One of the biggest opportunities – and challenges – for many businesses will be around how they use data and whether it can become a predictive tool for

Traditional owners and knowledge holders could have a greater role in decision-making for heritage places to which they have a connection, with proposed changes to the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act released by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt last week. New definitions for heritage and a clearer framework for land use proposals are just some of the changes discussed in the paper, which would likely see the 47-year-old Act repealed and replaced with a new approach to protecting and preserving heritage. It is a move that has been widely supported within Aboriginal communities. The role of traditional owners would increase through the establishment

Think of a residential estate and what does your mind turn to? Manicured lawns and new builds? Landscaped open space? Kids kicking a ball on gently curving roads? What about an opportunity to tackle one of society’s greatest social and health challenges? That’s the unlikely challenge that arises out of a growing body of research that finds badly-designed urban environments — anonymous high-rise living, for example, or so-called food deserts where all shops are a driving distance from homes — markedly increase loneliness. And loneliness is now considered an epidemic in Australia, as well as being as risky to our health as obesity. The issue is

In the first instalment of our Real Relationship series - exploring stakeholder engagement across a wide variety of topics - Jordin Payne takes a look at the new kids on the block: Generation Z. Born between 1995 and 2012, Generation Z is the first fully global generation of our society. A study conducted by McCrindle has labelled Generation Z as change agents capable of having influence over brand success. With 10.1 million Australians being avid users of social media, it is increasingly clear connection and perception matter. So, what’s important to Gen Z? Concerned with social impact, inclusion, authenticity and value, by

The joint declaration of Australia’s mining giants in support of an Aboriginal voice in Australia’s parliament has once again showed that industry is prepared to step up and address important social reform, where political leaders have proved reluctant to champion change. BHP and Rio Tinto have publicly stood behind the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was penned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at a National Convention in May 2017 and underpins the theme of NAIDOC 2019 – Voice, Treaty, Truth. The Uluru Statement describes the long-running quest for recognition and constitutional reforms relating to our First Nations people, and