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Cassandra Trevilyan-Hayes of Mimi Aboriginal Art & Craft

National Reconciliation Week: Amplifying indigenous professionals

LinkedIn has partnered with Indigenous creative consultancy Campfire X to launch its annual initiative, Connecting Voices, during National Reconciliation Week. 

This week-long program aims to address Indigenous Australian professionals’ challenges in the workplace by connecting them with leading CEOs on LinkedIn. Through Connecting Voices, Indigenous Australian professionals and business leaders will collaborate to create content that amplifies their stories and experiences on the platform. The initiative seeks to educate non-Indigenous professionals about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their culture, customs, and perspectives, fostering culturally safe work environments.

Renowned Indigenous leaders and influential business executives will participate in this initiative. Notable pairs include Professor Robynne Quiggin, Board Chair of UTS, who is paired with Pip Marlow, CEO of Salesforce ANZ & ASEAN. Professor Shane Hearn, CEO of First Nations Media, partners with Chris Ellis, CEO of Finder, while Dixie Crawford, Founder of Nganya, collaborates with Michelle Hutton, Vice Chair, Asia Pacific, Edelman.

Throughout the week, the Connecting Voices series will explore a range of topics, including Reconciliation, barriers faced by Indigenous professionals in corporate Australia, cultural integration in the workplace, the importance of education, and The Voice. Indigenous professionals and business leaders will share their insights and reflections through written posts and videos on LinkedIn, encouraging Australians to develop greater cultural awareness.

This year’s initiative, aligned with the theme ‘Be a Voice for Generations,’ provides a platform for First Nations professionals and their allies to raise awareness about the experiences of Indigenous professionals in the workplace and the disparities in cultural sensitivity based on cultural backgrounds.

Brittany Ruppert, Social Marketing Manager for LinkedIn, expresses pride in launching the Connecting Voices initiative during National Reconciliation Week. She emphasises the significance of creating a safe space for members to learn, connect, and engage in potentially challenging conversations. Ruppert highlights the role of cultural competency in the ongoing journey of awareness and education.

Peter Kirk, Co-Founder of Campfire X, acknowledges the eagerness of Australian workers to learn more about Indigenous customs and culture. However, he emphasises the need for ongoing educational opportunities within the workplace. The Connecting Voices initiative aims to educate Australians about the challenges faced by Indigenous professionals and spark meaningful conversations to drive positive change.

Professor Shane Hearn, CEO of First Nations Media, emphasises the crucial role of non-Indigenous leaders in amplifying Indigenous Australian CEOs within the business landscape. Non-Indigenous leaders contribute to a more inclusive and prosperous society through representation, empowerment, diversity, and cultural understanding.

Alongside this year’s initiative, LinkedIn has commissioned research for the second consecutive year, exploring the cultural sensitivities and varying experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the workplace.

The research reveals that many non-Indigenous workers have limited knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, and customs. However, there is a growing interest in learning more, despite apprehension about asking the wrong questions.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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