NAB Foundation funds critical research on First Nations workplace inclusion

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  • University of Technology Sydney Jumbunna Institute/Business School and Diversity Council Australia to partner on new Gari Yala report.
  • The First Nations-led research will reveal more about the experiences of Indigenous Australians at work and provide recommendations to create workplaces where Indigenous people can thrive.
  • NAB Foundation is funding the research.

New research is set to detail the lived experience of First Nations Australians at work and the improvements required to create workplaces free of racism, discrimination and bias.

With funding from NAB Foundation, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Jumbunna Centre for Indigenous Education and Research/UTS Business School and Diversity Council Australia (DCA) will again partner to deliver a second Gari Yala report in 2025.

In 2020 the first Gari Yala report, meaning ‘speak the truth’ in the Wiradjuri language, revealed the racism and lack of cultural safety experienced by Indigenous people across Australian workplaces.

Associate Dean at UTS Business School and Professor, Indigenous Policy at the Jumbunna Institute, Nareen Young, said Gari Yala had become the benchmark for Indigenous inclusion, but the world for First Nations people employment was changing rapidly.

“To speak the truth about the lived experience of Indigenous Australians at work is crucial to creating fair and equal workplaces that are working towards safety and are free from racism, discrimination and bias,” Professor Young said.

“With this research we want to build on the findings of the first Gari Yala report and begin to understand the Indigenous wages gap.

“We want to track the psychosocial impact of racism at work, examine cultural/colonial load and its impacts more carefully while tracking the impact of intersectional considerations.”

The research, to commence in August, will be led by Professor Young, Jumbunna Researcher Josh Gilbert and Australian National University Indigenous Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Olivia Evans. The project will be overseen by an Indigenous Expert Panel and utilise Indigenous research methodology.

Director Jumbunna Research, Professor Lindon Coombes, said the report would provide a crucial contribution to the national conversation around employment for Indigenous people.

“Our Indigenous research methodology means we’re able to provide a First Nations perspective on issues that affect our communities,” Professor Coombes said.

“As an Indigenous-led research body with strong connections to community, the Jumbunna Institute is enabling Indigenous workers to speak up about their experiences in the workplace.”

With support from DCA, the research will survey more than 1,000 workers from across Australian workplaces.

DCA CEO Lisa Annese said it was more important than ever to truly listen to First Nations voices.

“In light of last year’s disappointing referendum result, and with DCA research showing worsening workplace discrimination toward First Nations people, we must intensify efforts towards reconciliation,” Ms Annese said.

“The Gari Yala report was the first of its kind; it changed the conversation around how First Nations people are treated at work and paved the way for a more thoughtful and considered approach to making workplaces safer and more inclusive.

“DCA takes immense pride in once again joining forces with the Jumbunna Institute and UTS Business School on the second iteration of this crucial research and beginning the next chapter of Gari Yala.”

NAB Foundation is funding the research.

NAB Group Executive People and Culture Sarah White said NAB was proud to be partnering with the Jumbunna Institute, UTS Business School, and DCA to deliver another Gari Yala report.

“NAB has a key role to play in furthering the economic advancement of First Nations Australians,” Ms White said.

“We see this research as crucial to supporting First Nations thought leadership and promoting workplace inclusion.”

 

About UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research
The Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research aims to produce the highest quality research on Indigenous legal and policy issues and to develop highly skilled Indigenous researchers.

About UTS Business School
UTS Business School’s vision is to be a socially-committed business school focused on developing and sharing knowledge for an innovative, sustainable, prosperous economy in a fairer world.

About Diversity Council Australia
Diversity Council Australia (DCA) is the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It provides unique research, inspiring events and programs, curated resources and expert advice across all diversity dimensions to a community of over 1,300 member organisations. DCA’s member organisations are estimated to employ over two million Australians, representing almost 20% of the workforce.

About NAB Foundation
NAB Foundation is a registered charity that uses philanthropy, social investment and in-kind support to fund social and environmental progress in Australian communities served by NAB. By funding the people and communities who make a real difference, the NAB Foundation aims to help tackle social and environmental challenges relevant to NAB, natural disasters, climate transition, indigenous economic advancement and affordable housing.

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