We recently marked a significant milestone with the launch of Origin’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Guided by our Compass, our RAP outlines what we are doing to respect the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and foster meaningful relationships and opportunities that will add value to the communities in which we operate.
Our Managing Director Grant King believes the development of our RAP marks the commencement of a very important journey for us.
“Our focus is to more thoughtfully and meaningfully work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Grant.
“At Origin, we recognise through our principles the importance of diversity and we have a commitment to respect the rights and interests of the communities we serve. We therefore have the opportunity and the obligation to play a more active role in Australia’s reconciliation efforts,” Grant continued.
In Australia, there is still on average a large gap between the lives and prospects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and those of other Australians. Today, many organisations across Australia are taking action to close this gap and our first RAP is our contribution to this collective effort.
In the RAP, Reconciliation Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Mohamed writes: “As Australia’s leading integrated energy company, Origin now has a great opportunity to build on the Origin Energy Foundation’s work in advancing reconciliation in Australia.”
Our journey so far
To date, we have engaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples predominantly in the communities in which we operate and through the philanthropic activities of the Origin Energy Foundation. The focus of our Foundation is to support programs that use education to help break the cycle of disadvantage and empower young Australians to reach their potential.
Through this we’ve contributed to education programs for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, via partnerships with organisations like AIME, IndiKindi and Gawura.
On our largest and most significant project, Australia Pacific LNG, we have built relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over a number of years.
Some key initiatives have included building employee cultural awareness, celebrating NAIDOC week, scrutinising employment and procurement practices and piloting initiatives to enhance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation.
Building on the progress we have made to date, our RAP 2015-2016 maps out our aspirations along four interconnected paths, which are both internal and external facing:
- We have a strong Culture of Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their cultures, histories and contributions
- We pursue Education, Skills, Jobs and Careers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- We foster and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commerce and Community Development
- We nurture and enhance Relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities
So far we’re working with CareerTrackers, a national not-for-profit Indigenous Internship Program, to recruit pre-professional Indigenous university students into our organisation; and have launched our first Cultural Awareness e-learning module for all employees.
An employee reflection
Melanie Grills, a Gomeroi Woman from Moree, New South Wales, has worked at Origin for almost three years. She is currently in the role of Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy and Engagement for Integrated Gas, and a member of our Reconciliation Advisory Committee.
Melanie and ten other committee members are helping guide the development and implementation of Origin’s inaugural RAP.
“As I reflect on our reconciliation journey so far, I am excited about the ways in which Origin can and will make a unique contribution to reconciliation in Australia.”
“Each day that I come to work, I am motivated by hope. Hope that more and more people will open themselves to acknowledging our shared history and seeing the beauty of the world’s oldest living culture through a lens free from bias.
“Hope for my daughter that outside our family home, she can see, feel and hear others celebrate her culture in a society where inclusivity is the norm. Hope that our organisations realises its potential to become leaders of authenticity in this space.”