Closing the Gap: Lendlease Engagement in the Territory

21 Jun 2017

Lendlease has been on a journey with Reconciliation Australia since 2010 and has a strong track record of following through with its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) commitments and building meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

In the Northern Territory, progress has been made across the key domains of reconciliation—relationships, respect and opportunities.

According to the Australian Reconciliation Barometer, nearly 70% of Australia’s general community have low, or no knowledge at all, about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The barometer also identifies that the level of contact and interaction between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people is low, about 33% of non-Aboriginal Australians state that they haven’t socialised with an Aboriginal person.

It is for these reasons, amongst others, that Lendlease Building chose to play an active role in the sponsorship and attendance of Barunga Festival – a remote Indigenous community festival located in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Barunga Festival is one of the most important and longest-running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community festivals in regional Australia. In Australia’s Bicentennial year, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke attended the Barunga Festival and promised Aboriginal leaders a treaty. Barunga continues to be a place of focused discussion about more meaningful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. 

Aside from a celebration of Indigenous sport, music, dance and cultural activities, Barunga Festival is also about promoting economic self-determination in the community. Indigenous enterprises have market stalls, run workshops in weaving and carving, and the local school hosts visitors on bike and walking tours. 
Barunga Festival
This year, Lendlease Building employees attended the festival in a bid to breakdown cultural stereotypes and barriers and to learn about Indigenous heritage, arts, culture and music from members of the Barunga community. 

Our partnership with Barunga Festival is just one of several commitments made in the Territory that demonstrate the Lendlease RAP in action.

On current Building projects in the Territory, Lendlease has recorded more than 60,000 hours of Indigenous employment and issued trade packages to approximately eight Indigenous sub-contractors*.

The Barunga Festival partnership and local Indigenous engagement and are just few of the great initiatives Lendlease is delivering as part of our promise in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

*As of April 2017
Barunga Festival