Better Boards Conference 2023

Better Boards Conference 2023 Forging Strategic Pathways BRISBANE, 2–3 JUNE 2023


Aboriginal employment: It's not charity, it's strategy.

Lindsay Stanford

Founder and Principal, Blakworks

Lindsay Stanford is a proud Gamilaraay woman whose lands stretch from northern NSW into Queensland. She is the Founder and Principal of Blakworks, a business she started in 2008 to help Australian employers make Aboriginal employment work. Lindsay does this by working primarily with not for profit leaders and organisations to improve their understanding of Aboriginal employment and build better workplaces to support Aboriginal employment efforts. Lindsay has been helping employers with Aboriginal employment for more than 25 years. Lindsay has worked with organisations of varying sizes, from large employers like Macquarie University and Honeywell to smaller organisations like Girrinbai Community Pre-School. Lindsay has been presenting to groups for 30 years. She delivers Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces sessions to many organisations and hundreds of people each year. She has experience presenting to boards, community groups and at events such as those relating to International Women's Day. She has been a past guest lecturer for the University of New South Wales and the Centre for Social Impact, delivering talks on Aboriginal cultures, workplaces and employment.

Lindsay believes there is a way for not for profits to make Aboriginal employment work. She knows that they want to do better, and need to do better, in providing opportunities for Aboriginal people. And just as importantly, she believes they can do better. With a little help and guidance, we can make Aboriginal employment work for everyone. A professional and engaging speaker, Lindsay speaks from firsthand experience and presents complex and often challenging information using self-deprecating humour, visual models, stories and a candid and honest approach to the complex social challenge of Aboriginal experience.

Savvy not for profit leaders want to get real results for their organisation and make a real difference for Aboriginal people and communities. The best way to do this is to employ more Aboriginal people. Whether your strategic goal is to improve outcomes for clients, win more contracts, or enter new markets, you’ll need a strong Aboriginal workforce and safe workplace to make progress. Rising community standards are increasing pressure on not for profit leaders to ensure they are leading their communities on these issues. Those leaders who are savvy enough to see the strategic potential in this space – and implement effectively – will cement their legacy and grow their impact. Those who fail to keep pace will risk being out-of-touch with community values. The problem is too many leaders aren’t having the impact they want. They face varying levels of support from the board, leadership and work teams. They want more than a tick-a-box approach and fear being tokenistic. They struggle to find and keep Aboriginal staff, are frustrated by the lack of results - despite their best efforts - and don’t know how to make it work. Many have given up on results and, instead, focus on activity to demonstrate they’re doing something.

This workshop will demonstrate how not for profit leaders can finally get the results and impact they want by:

  • • Applying 3 principles that will guide your efforts to ensure you are making a real difference.
  • • Getting clear on the right Aboriginal employment goal for your organisation and situation.
  • • Focusing on 3 key assets to build a simple and effective Aboriginal employment strategy for your organisation.
  • • Using a simple implementation framework to ensure you’re getting real long-term results.

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