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Delivering capability with Indigenous partners


Walga Mining and Services employee installing perimeter fencing and security signage at the expanded Cultana Training Area
Walga Mining and Services employee installing perimeter fencing and security signage at the expanded Cultana Training Area.

In July 2015, the Government released an Indigenous Procurement Policy aimed at promoting employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians. The policy applies mandatory minimum requirements to all Commonwealth contracts delivered in Australia valued at $7.5 million or more and where a majority of the goods or services required are in building, construction and/or maintenance services.

On 4 November 2015, the Australian Civil–Military Centre signed a contract with Indigenous media, communications and event company 33 Creative for the production of its latest civil-military-police educational film, Leading Together, marking the beginning of a strong relationship fostered under the Indigenous Procurement Policy.

Dr Alan Ryan, Executive Director of the Australian Civil–Military Centre, said the signing of the contract with 33 Creative was a very exciting opportunity for the Australian Civil–Military Centre to access the Indigenous suppliers program.

‘As a small organisation, we need to source outside expertise, such as that offered by 33 Creative, to produce high-quality resources for Australian Government agencies and for the international and non-governments organisations that we work with’, said Dr Ryan.

The Australian Civil–Military Centre was recognised in the Prime Minister’s 2016 Closing the Gap report for the innovative approach taken in engaging with 33 Creative.

The launch of the film is anticipated in September 2016 and will be a critical learning resource to support civil–military–police leaders and their staff in promoting the importance of coordination in crisis response.

The film is intended for use by the Australian Government and other Australian Civil–Military Centre stakeholders, including the United Nations, other governments, civilian organisations, the aid community, police forces and militaries.

Shortly after the launch of the Indigenous Procurement Policy, Defence’s Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch leveraged the policy to contract Walga Mining and Services Pty Ltd (Walga). Walga was contracted to replace and remediate boundary fencing, establish firebreaks and erect signage on the Cultana Redevelopment Project at the Cultana Training Area in South Australia.

Walga is a 100 per cent Indigenous-owned company based in Whyalla, South Australia; this was the first Defence contract for construction works that Walga had been awarded under the policy.

Walga has a mainly young Indigenous workforce, with most of its employees coming from the Barngarla Nation. Defence has an Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the area with the Barngarla people, who are the native title holders of the Cultana area.

Executive Director of Walga, Elliott McNamara, is an advocate for skilling Indigenous youth so they can become self supporting, and has provided a capable team that is delivering a quality product to support Defence’s training activities at Cultana.

The works are scheduled to be completed in October 2016, and in this time Walga will have erected 300 kilometres of boundary fencing, established firebreaks and installed range danger and warning signage at the Cultana Training Area.