We are delighted to announce during National Reconciliation Week that the CEO of Indigenous Workforce Consulting (IWC), Brendan Littlechild, has joined the Concern Australia Board of Directors.
Brendan was born in Wynyard on the north-west Coast of Tasmania. A proud member and descendent of the Narrunga people from the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, his mother was born and raised in the Aboriginal community of Point Pearce.
He brings to Concern Australia an immense range of experience and skills, including leading highly successful national programs with a focus on employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and supporting organisations to design and implement Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP). Brendan currently sits on the Westpac Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Australia Post RAP Working Group.
In 2017 Brendan drew on his years of experience to establish Indigenous Workforce Consulting. IWC partners with major Australian and international companies and organisations to help them develop best practice engagement activities and programs, including employment, social procurement, social impact policy and strategies.
Brendan said he was excited to be joining Concern Australia, and the potential for the organisation to be making a significant difference for communities.
“I’ll be looking at how we can engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people through Concern Australia’s programs,” Brendan said. “The other aspect to my experience is working in the social procurement space, building relationships with corporate Australia, and magnifying the impact they’re trying to generate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“I can see that there are opportunities to align with specific industries and organisations that could add further meaning and impact to Concern Australia’s work.”
Brendan said that National Reconciliation Week is an important part of the journey forward for the nation’s First Peoples and non-Indigenous people.
“It’s about building awareness, understanding and respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture right across our country,” he said. “Each traditional owner group is different, with unique languages, customs, culture, traditions and the ways they connect with the land. I get excited about giving people the opportunity to learn about it and build awareness and understanding.
“As we journey forward, we can work together to create a positive future that includes self-determination and prosperity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.”
Concern Australia CEO Michelle Crawford welcomed Brendan to the organisation.
“It is as significant milestone in Concern Australia’s history to have Brendan join the Board during National Reconciliation Week,” she said. “I am very much looking forward to working with Brendan as his experience and knowledge, along with his Aboriginal identity and heritage, will make an invaluable contribution to the organisation’s governance flowing through to enhanced outcomes for all young people that we work with, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
“With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people making up 8% of those attending Hand Brake Turn and 5% of our Inside Out program, Brendan’s wisdom and insight will guide us further on our reconciliation journey.
“Our founder, the Rev. Dr John Smith, had a strong emphasis on reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, standing with them in their fight for justice. In 1997 John wrote a covenant, committing Concern Australia to all aspects of reconciliation. Concern Australia programs have always welcomed and prioritised these young people, and we’re looking forward to continuing to develop our cultural competence, further formalising our commitment, led by Aboriginal people as we develop our first Reconciliation Action Plan.”
Brendan has been appointed as a ‘co-opted Board Member’ to fill a casual vacancy. His appointment will be confirmed at the Concern Australia annual general meeting later in the year.
You can find out more about Brendan in his profile on the Indigenous Workforce Consulting team page, and by viewing his LinkedIn profile.