One year on from signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, the NSW Government’s $348 million Gosford Hospital Redevelopment is now providing full-time employment to more than 125 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and apprenticeships to 30 young Indigenous workers.
A first for Lendlease in Australia, the partnership forged between the company, Darkinjung and the Aboriginal Employment Strategy, has proved to be a successful pilot, gaining momentum for Indigenous employment on the Central Coast.
Mr Joel Stringer, General Manager NSW for Lendlease’s Building business, said he was proud of the momentum gained by the training and employment program and hoped to see it continue on other projects throughout the region.
“Key to delivering major public projects is providing local opportunities for employment and training.
“As Australia’s largest building contractor, we are in a good position to work with our clients and stakeholders to create real opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Mr Stringer.
“Since 2011, Lendlease has been investing in our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and RAP Partnerships to acknowledge and celebrate the proud heritage of Australia’s first people, and promote opportunities for career development, sustainable business growth, and economic participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“We are now working closely with Health Infrastructure to identify employment opportunities for the Indigenous workforce once the project is completed, ensuring that our workers can utilise their new skills and training to continue with employment in the region,” said Mr Stringer.
Essential to the success of the training and employment program is a unique partnership between Lendlease, Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.
Chief Executive Officer of Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, Mr Sean Gordon, commended Lendlease’s collaboration on the project so far.
“Darkinjung first partnered with Lendlease when they were submitting their tender to perform the works on the Gosford Hospital Redevelopment.
“We supported their application because we know they have a genuine commitment to Aboriginal reconciliation.
“It is great to see the number of Indigenous workers and apprentices forging careers in the construction industry through their work on the Gosford Hospital Redevelopment.
“We hope that more companies follow suit in identifying and providing employment and training opportunities for our Indigenous community on the Central Coast,” said Mr Gordon.
Media release, Oct 16
Sarah Beyrath, Lendlease Australia