Since 2002, BHP Billiton has partnered with Reconciliation Australia to develop the Indigenous Governance Program.
The program has focused on recognising and developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ central role in strengthening their communities, while also celebrating outstanding examples of Indigenous governance, through the Indigenous Governance Awards.
In 2007, BHP Billiton was one of the first organisations to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan. This has been an important part of our efforts to realise our vision for reconciliation, where our operations and communities are places that embrace respect, have mutually beneficial relationships and foster inclusion and opportunities for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan has helped strengthen our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities through initiatives that support our workforce to learn more about their culture and to provide opportunities that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In 2013, our partnership with Reconciliation Australia grew to include Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning – a program designed to support reconciliation in schools and early learning services. The program provides school communities with the tools they need to increase understanding of various cultures by assisting schools to develop online Reconciliation Action Plans, providing curriculum resources and implementing a professional learning component for teachers and educators.
Narragunnawali is designed to support the more than 21,000 early learning, primary and secondary schools in Australia to develop environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
BHP Billiton believes reconciliation will be driven through unity, respect and equity – and education is the foundation to creating this change. All Australians should understand the history of their nation, its first people and their rich culture. Through working with children, young people, teachers and schools, Narragunnawali will foster knowledge and understanding to help break down prejudices and move towards a more unified society.