BWM Dentsu Group launches Reconciliation Action Plan to help address inequality in the creative and media sector
BWM Dentsu Group (including BWM Dentsu, Haystac, Cox Inall Communications, Cox Inall Change, and Cox Inall Ridgeway – an Indigenous social impact agency) are working to help address underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the creative and media industry with the launch of their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this week.
The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the creative and media sector is concerningly low. The Australian Bureau of Statistics puts the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the Information Media and Telecommunications at 1,687 in October 2017, while Roy Morgan data suggests the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Arts and Media industry is too insignificant to report on at all.
BWM Dentsu Group’s RAP framework will help to review and enhance existing relationships, respect and trust between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Non-Indigenous Australians, through a series of tangible, long-term commitments. This finished document has now been submitted to Reconciliation Australia for their final review.
Actions taken as part of the RAP include implementing rituals that honour the original owners of the land, such as ensuring an ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ is performed at the start of all agency meetings; diverting 3% of total commercial spend to Indigenous owned or run suppliers; forging a strategic internship partnership with Swinburne University; and celebrating and honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture with an event series.
Aden Ridgeway, Partner at Cox Inall Ridgeway and the first Indigenous person to be elected as a Parliamentary Leader, said: “For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, storytelling, creativity and human-centred design are at the very heart of our culture. As a result, we want to see a higher representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the media and creative industry, and are proud to be working with the other BWM Dentsu Group agencies to help move the dial on this issue.”
While RAPs exist for the majority of flagship clients in Australia, particularly within the spheres of banking, sport, law and aviation, there are surprisingly few in the media sector. As one of the first creative agency groups to be leading the way in this field, BWM Dentsu Group will ensure the impact of the RAP is as tangible and beneficial as possible by making their template freely available for any other agencies that want to take it on to adapt,
Belinda Murray, Managing Director of BWM Dentsu Melbourne, said: “We know how important diversity and inclusion is to making our industry as strong as it can possibly be. All of us in the BWM Dentsu Group want to work towards making the creative and media industry feel like a dynamic, safe and nurturing environment for all people, so it’s considered a valid career option going forward.”
To launch the RAP, BWM Dentsu Group is hosting a panel event discussion on ‘The Transformative Power of Creativity within the Indigenous Community’, on Thursday 9 August. The panel will feature Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative entrepreneurs and change-makers giving their perspective on what ‘creativity’ means within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and the challenges and achievements that they’ve come up against along the way.