Agencies that make up BWM Dentsu Group are helping address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the creative and media industries with a new plan.
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched last week by BWM Dentsu, Haystac, Cox Inall Communications, Cox Inall Change, and Cox Inall Ridgeway (an Indigenous social impact agency).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics puts the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the information media and telecommunications sectors at 1687 in October 2017.
Furthermore, Roy Morgan data suggests the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the arts and media industries is too insignificant to report on at all.
BWM Dentsu Group’s RAP framework will help to review and enhance existing relationships, respect and trust between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians, through a series of tangible, long-term commitments.
This finished document has now been submitted to Reconciliation Australia for final review.
Actions taken as part of the RAP include implementing rituals that honour the original owners of the land, such as ensuring an ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ is performed at the start of all agency meetings.
The RAP framework also includes diverting three per cent of total commercial spend to Indigenous-owned or run suppliers, forging a strategic internship partnership with Swinburne University, and celebrating and honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture with an event series.
Aden Ridgeway, partner at Cox Inall Ridgeway and the first Indigenous person to be elected as a parliamentary leader, said: “For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, storytelling, creativity and human-centred design are at the very heart of our culture.
“As a result, we want to see a higher representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the media and creative industry, and are proud to be working with the other BWM Dentsu Group agencies to help move the dial on this issue.”
Belinda Murray, managing director of BWM Dentsu Melbourne, said: “We know how important diversity and inclusion is to making our industry as strong as it can possibly be.
“All of us in the BWM Dentsu Group want to work towards making the creative and media industry feel like a dynamic, safe and nurturing environment for all people, so it’s considered a valid career option going forward.”
BWM Dentsu Group launched the RAP with a panel discussion last Thursday.
The panel featured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative entrepreneurs and change-makers giving their perspective on what ‘creativity’ means within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and the challenges and achievements that they’ve come up against along the way.