Through a focus on procurement opportunities and community consultation, BAE Systems Australia builds respectful and sustainable relationships with First Nations peoples in the communities in which we operate.
We are committed to advancing our reconciliation journey in practical ways, including partnerships with First Nations owned companies; and increasing the number of First Nations employees, including graduates and apprentices. We also partner with organisations that support Indigenous girls in STEM programs to help underpin their future careers.
Our leadership team supports our ongoing reconciliation journey and together we are committed to sharing our achievements, challenges and learnings to ensure we continue to learn and grow.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands and waters where we live and work, and pay our respects to elders past, present and future. We offer our respect and acknowledgment as part of the process of reconciliation and healing.
We recognise and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cultural heritage, belief and relationship with the land and waters of our beautiful nation that has been cared for and protected by First Nations people and their ancestors for thousands of years.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.
Our commitment to reconciliation
Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) stands central in our commitment to enriching the lives of First Nations peoples and their communities.
Our RAP focuses on advancing sustainable initiatives and programs designed to increase meaningful engagement with First Nations communities, grow and develop our First Nations workforce, and establish strong relationships with First Nations businesses.
Our work with First Nations people continues to be a key and enduring focus of our overall diversity and inclusion activities and it is through this plan that we aim to grow and nurture a more diverse workforce that reflect the communities in which we operate.
Developing an inclusive and diverse workplace in which all employees can contribute their unique experiences, beliefs and insights helps us drive innovation, enhance employee engagement and accelerate our performance.
2019 and 2022
We launched our second and third Innovate Reconciliation Action Plans.
We appointed a working group of employees to drive forward our RAP commitments. The group works to build and sustain relationships with First Nations peoples, promote our RAP within the business and foster a greater understanding of the historical, political and social factors and challenges impacting First Nations people.
In March, we launched our first RAP becoming the first Australian defence company to detail our commitments to support First Nations employees and the wider communities in which we operate.
We launched our initial diversity and inclusion strategy which committed to support First Nations peoples in the areas of business, employment and community engagement.
Our reconciliation journey began in 2013 via our commitment to the Indigenous Opportunity Policy. This work was the catalyst for building foundations of our reconciliation initiatives.
First Nations community and business partnerships
First Nations careers and employment
Trades and production roles
We have partnered with the Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium and Randstad Australia to deliver opportunities for Indigenous businesses and people over the life of the program and our continuous naval shipbuilding activities.
We have roles available working on the prototyping and construction of Hunter class frigates at our Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. We are regularly looking for welders, electricians, pipe fitters, pipe welders, mechanical fitters, trade assistants, material handlers, operators, riggers, scaffolders and production supervisors.
Career Trackers First Nations University Internships
We have also teamed up with not-for-profit organisation Career Trackers to provide internships for ten First Nations university students each year. This program provides opportunities for emerging:
mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers;
system, software and hardware engineers; and
project management, human resources, finance, supply chain and information management and technology personnel.
These internships are available as winter and summer placements and are based at various sites across Australia.
Our stunning artwork has been created by Elizabeth Close, an Anangu woman from the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language groups. Elizabeth’s family links are to the communities of Pukutja and Amata in the APY Lands.
The background palettes speak to landscape and country - informed by our desire to embed place-based reconciliation within our organisation. This is designed to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and traditional owners of the lands on which they operate — and identify their unique country, language and culture.
“I often use palette as a tool to speak to country and landscape,” Elizabeth says.
“BAE Systems’ three arms speak to air, land, and sea; a concept that is naturally informed by landscape, thus the air, land and sea is enmeshed within each concept, just as country is enmeshed within the personhood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has designed the monochromatic sections to reflect the concept of growth with the curved lines representing inspiration the growth rings of old growth trees - showing the trees journey through periods of abundance and drought. The straight lines represent these enduring trees standing tall, having witnessed many lifetimes and changes in its years.
“The section of dot-work represents the people at BAE Systems, working together to acknowledge shared histories, honour truth-telling and move forward with a shared vision,” Elizabeth says.