Indigenous Employment Program Coordinator - Crown
I’m a father of two boys and was born and raised here in Melbourne. I come from two very big families and am a descendent of the Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri and Gunnai peoples.
I’ve been working in Aboriginal Employment for about 8 years, both locally and nationally with many different Aboriginal communities, but the program is relatively new for Crown.
One of the first jobs I had was working in an Indigenous Employment Program as a participant with a local job network agency. I fell into the role by chance, and after 12 months in the program, they kept me on to continue more Koori programs as an employee. I was there for 3 years and from that time I stayed working in the employment field, then moved to Crown when this opportunity came up.
From what I can tell, and what I’ve been able to identify, over the last 14 years, Crown has had less than 5 Aboriginal employees. In the last 12 months, we’ve employed 30 Aboriginal people of which we’ve still got a high retention rate.
To me, that’s a massive difference in terms of opening up doors and recognising the Aboriginal talent pool.
I think a large part of it was because of the government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy and the fact that some corporate heavyweights jumped on board. James Packer, on behalf of Crown, pledged to offer 300 jobs and the next step was to ask ‘how do we do this?’ We needed an employment program and they needed to bring someone on board and that’s when I was introduced.
My family feels really good about me working at Crown. They think it’s great that a company like Crown have the IEP high on their agenda. For Crown to recognise that Aboriginal issues are affecting communities in an urban setting in Melbourne, it shows government, it shows the rest of Australia that the issues affecting Aboriginal people, affect Aboriginal people all over the country, not just, say, the Top End. That’s what my family, who live in Melbourne