The National Agreement on Closing the Gap was developed to move towards an environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered through having a genuine say in shaping policies, programmes, and services that directly impact their lives, so that better life outcomes are achieved. The Agreement lists specific and measurable outcomes that the government hopes to achieve by 2031 as a result of its implementation.
While the Agreement focuses on government policies, it is crucial to recognise the role that businesses can play in narrowing these gaps. As an Indigenous construction business, BY Group aims to contribute to Closing the Gap through its everyday operations in four key ways.
4 Ways Your Business Can Contribute to Closing the Gap in Australia
1. Employment and Economic Opportunities
One of the most significant ways businesses can contribute to closing the gap is by providing employment and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This can involve actively recruiting and training Indigenous workers, fostering partnerships with local Indigenous businesses, and promoting workforce diversity.
BY Group was established to provide a career pathway for Indigenous Australians into the construction industry. By creating an inclusive workplace and empowering our Indigenous employees with skills and employment, we are proud to be able to contribute to reducing unemployment rates and economic disparities within the community.
2. Cultural Awareness and Respect
Respecting and embracing the cultural heritage and values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is another essential factor. Businesses can incorporate cultural awareness training for their employees, ensuring they understand and appreciate Indigenous customs, protocols, and traditional land practices.
At BY Group, we aim to create a safe, diverse, and inclusive space for our employees, and take the time to celebrate important occasions for Indigenous people, and to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements. We recognise that fostering a culturally respectful environment allows us to create stronger relationships with Indigenous communities and promote collaboration based on mutual understanding.
3. Engagement with Indigenous Communities
Businesses can participate in meaningful engagement with local Indigenous communities by establishing open lines of communication, actively seeking community input, and involving Indigenous voices in decision-making processes.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan guides our vision to build strong and inclusive relationships within the community. By genuinely involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the design and delivery of projects, BY Group ensures that our work aligns with community needs and aspirations, fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment.
4. Sustainable and Socially Responsible Practices
Businesses can also embrace sustainable and socially responsible practices to support Closing the Gap, such as using environmentally conscious construction techniques, utilising local suppliers and businesses, and supporting community development initiatives.
BY Group focuses on two areas of sustainability: sustainable employment and sustainable business practices. Our business objectives start with respecting people and the land. This is because we understand that by prioritising sustainable practices and contributing to the overall well-being of Indigenous communities, businesses can create positive, long-lasting impacts.
The key takeaway:
By actively engaging with Indigenous communities, fostering inclusive workplaces, and promoting economic opportunities, businesses can contribute to narrowing the disparities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to create a more inclusive and equitable Australia.
If you’d like to learn more about BY Group's construction experience, capability, and approach, please get in touch to discuss your next project and how we can help.