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Localised Engagement and First Nations Inclusion - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Localised Engagement and First Nations Inclusion

Insights from BSI’s Future Learning Podcast

Our fifth video from BSI’s Future Learning podcast on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), we focus on First Nations inclusion actions and initiatives. This podcast features Nola Turner-Jensen, a proud respected leader in First Nations Education, a Wiradyuri (weir rad jury) woman and Aboriginal Linguist. The discussion dives into the meaningful changes that occur when organisations genuinely engage with and learn from local First Nations communities. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in understanding how DEI and truth-telling around the history of First Peoples can profoundly impact their experience and belonging in the workplace.

If you are just joining us, feel free to check out the first video.

Breaking Old Patterns: Engaging the Experts and Asking the Right Questions

Nola begins by highlighting a significant shift in how organisations approach DEI. She states that it’s critical to engage directly with Indigenous experts to avoid making uninformed decisions. This approach not only respects the knowledge and expertise of Indigenous communities, but also leads to more effective and relevant DEI strategies.

Case Study: Healthwise’s Comprehensive Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Redefining Policies and Practices

Nola shares her experience working with Healthwise, a large health organisation, to overhaul their DEI policies. Over a two-year collaboration, they redefined staff inductions and policy frameworks. They ensured every employee, regardless of background, began with the same foundational understanding. This understanding focused on cultural diversity and inclusion. This case study exemplifies how deep, thoughtful engagement with DEI experts can lead to substantial organisational change. This kind of change impacts every employee’s experience from day one and sets the scene for the organisation’s commitment to inclusion.

The Importance of Local Knowledge: Integrating Community Insights

A key aspect of Nola’s work involved recognising and honouring the traditional owners in each of Healthwise’s service areas. By placing plaques and making public acknowledgments, Healthwise not only paid respect, but also educated non-Indigenous employees, fostering a greater understanding and connection within the community. Similar approaches involve team members learning about local place names, locations, and histories. These approaches impact building understanding, respect, and acknowledgement. This acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which they work.

Personal Impact and Broader Organisational Change

Simon also touches on his personal story, and how through engaged DEI practices, felt team member’s were more open to share their cultural, identity and sexuality at work. He shares that understanding each other’s backgrounds and histories led to a more cohesive and supportive team environment. As a result, employment engagement surveys increased in scores around belonging, teamwork and inclusivity. This illustrates how personal comfort and acceptance can enhance an individual’s, and a team’s, overall team productivity.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Meaningful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Integration

This podcast episode not only discusses the theoretical aspects of DEI, but also provides practical examples of how it can be successfully implemented to create more inclusive, productive, and understanding workplaces. Listeners are encouraged to consider how local and lived-experience-led DEI strategies can lead to significant cultural shifts and support the journey toward positive change.

Watch the full podcast episode on Apple or Spotify.

Learn more about how BSI digital can help you with your Diversity and Inclusion learning needs - get in contact with one of our team.

Stay tuned for more on the next video of BSI’s Future Learning Podcast series.
Thank you for tuning in!

Simon, Kala, and the BSI Team