Coates acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which our branches and offices are based. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend our respect to all Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.
At Coates, we recognise that reconciliation is a journey for all of us as Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Last year, we successfully launched our second Reconciliation Action Plan – ‘Innovate’. Our continued focus is on driving key outcomes for employment, education and community engagement and increasing the supplier spend with First Nations businesses.
When I reflect on our RAP journey to date, we have learned so much about the First Nations histories, peoples, customs and protocols. It has been a very humbling experience for me and the Coates team. Our journey is still in its early stages and there is still so much more to do to create real change, but I believe we are taking steps in the right direction.
Some of our achievements include:
We are proud of the achievements made through our first, ‘Reflect’ RAP and now through Innovate and have learned so much from these rich experiences. However, we must continue to challenge ourselves to do more to build stronger relationships with our local First Nations communities and employees in the coming years. Together, we will continue to drive many initiatives nationally, focused on relationship building and improving cultural and historical awareness for all employees.
Being an Australian owned organisation, this journey continues our commitment to reconciliation, and I call on everyone to stand together and be a part of Australia’s reconciliation movement. We share this journey with the support and endorsement of Reconciliation Australia, our Board, employees, customers and the communities who rely on us.
Chief Executive Officer,
The Coates Innovate RAP has set key targets to achieve by 2024 across three focus areas: Cultural Education, Employment and increasing our First Nations supplier pool. It is our intention to collaborate with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in locations where we operate to ensure these commitments develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities that are sustainable.
A culture of inclusivity matters to us. In this video, we hear from two of our team members (Nathan Ross, Workshop Supervisor and Proud Gamilaraay man and Bron Dodd, Project Manager and Proud Arabana woman) as well as Helena Plazzer, RAP Program Officer, from Reconciliation Australia on what reconciliation means to them, the First Nations communities and to Coates.
We’re committed to building meaningful, long-term partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations. We’re proud to have forged strong relationships with several organisations across the country, including:
Coates has invested in a three-year national partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, which has been matched by Federal and State governments.
The Clontarf Foundation is a national not-for-profit organisation that exists to improve the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, and by doing so, equip them to participate more meaningfully in society.
Our partnership helps support 149 Clontarf Academies across Australia, many in communities where both Clontarf and Coates co-exist, with more than 11,000 students enrolled. We also provide opportunities such as work experience and apprenticeships and have so far employed thirteen Clontarf graduates.
The NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC) supports Coates' Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) Partnership.
Their vision is for a state that embraces its rich Aboriginal history and culture, and values Aboriginal entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise as an important pillar in a strong NSW economy.
Their mission is to fuel a culturally rich and economically prosperous NSW.
They aim to achieve this via the APIC policy that has been developed to support greater participation by Aboriginal people in government construction projects across NSW. The aim of the policy is consistent with OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment), the NSW Government’s plan to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across all sectors of the community.
OCHRE recognises the need for a new approach and direction to support Aboriginal economic development across NSW, built on the strengths of the state’s Aboriginal communities and their long history of successful enterprise and trade as part of their own economic systems.
For more information about our RAP launch, read the press release here.