More than 135 Indigenous Australians can look back on their part of history in delivering the North Queensland Stadium that has helped pave the way for their future career success.
Stadium contractor Watpac set out with an Indigenous participation goal of 6.6% for the Townsville project and this figure has almost doubled to 11.9%, equating to more than 122,065 hours undertaken by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce (as at 4 November 2019).
Leading this achievement was Watpac’s Northern Area Manager Bryan Glancy and Indigenous Engagement Officer James Alley, a proud Kalkadoon, Kuku Yalanji and Waluwarra man. Together they created Watpac’s Indigenous engagement program for the Stadium with similar strategies implemented on other Watpac projects.
Mr Alley said the North Queensland Stadium goal was for Watpac to work collaboratively and innovatively with all stakeholders including the Australian Government, Queensland Government, Townsville City Council, Traditional Owners and local Indigenous community to achieve a culturally inclusive supply chain.
“From Indigenous job seeker events to business forums and even contractor barbecues, our model for engagement has taken shape since 2017 and proven to be very successful.
“My role encompasses Indigenous engagement, building relationships with local government agencies and providers, working with the local Indigenous community including Traditional Owner Groups and trying to facilitate that process of employing Indigenous people and the procuring of Indigenous businesses.
“Watpac is putting its commitment to Indigenous engagement into practice and the North Queensland Stadium sets a strong benchmark, which was really brought to life on the ground with Bryan and over 25 years of local Watpac operations,” Mr Alley said.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said that Watpac’s efforts should be recognised and celebrated.
“Watpac is clearly dedicated to ensuring that Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are employed in the construction workforce, and we are proud to be aligning with a company that is setting this example for others in the industry,” Cr Hill said.
Music legend Elton John will be one of the first acts to perform at the stadium, singing to Townsville residents on Saturday, 29 February 2020.