WARRA | CULTIVATE INDIGENOUS

What is Warra?

Cultivate is proud to announce the launch of Warra, our new sponsorship program specifically designed and delivered for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in your organisation. 

Over the last 12 months, Warra has been carefully developed in partnership with First Nations people, who have combined their technical excellence with their deep understanding and lived experience of being Aboriginal. 

Who is Warra?

Warra is the first program to be delivered by Cultivate Indigenous, and is a majority First Nations owned and operated business.

Why does Australia need Warra?

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The Minderoo Foundation’s Indigenous Employment Index 2022 found that Indigenous representation at senior leadership levels was just 0.7 per cent among some of Australia's largest employers who provided their data.

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The Index also confirmed that only half of participating employers collect Indigenous retention data.

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The majority of these employers (62 per cent) reported lower retention of Indigenous employees compared to the rest of their workforce.

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In addition, over a third of the 42 participating employers do not provide any Indigenous specific development opportunities.

Warra seeks to inspire and develop talent at all levels by embedding a culture of sponsorship, whilst delivering tailored development opportunities targeted at growing, retaining and advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.  Warra also seeks to develop business leaders and their understanding of First Nations culture through an immersive information exchange. 

Warra is designed to complement your organisation’s existing succession planning and learning and development initiatives by cultivating an environment for emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to shine, whilst growing the cultural competency of your organisation’s senior leaders.   

Enablers and Barriers

The enablers and barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ participation in employment are multiple and intertwined with social, cultural, geographic, and economic factors. (Source: https://ctgreport.niaa.gov.au/employment)

Research shows that there are several barriers to advancement including operational constraints, limited regional opportunities, poor management practices and a lack of institutions valuing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ skills and leadership styles (Source: Navigating to Senior Leadership in the Australian Public Service: Identifying barriers and enablers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in APS employment 2019 by Samantha Faulkner and Julie Lahn).

Research has also shown that informal sponsorship impacts remuneration, retention, and progression. A sponsorship program targeted at emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, and owned by senior management, is a necessary strategy to overcome biases and systemic barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ opportunities in the workforce. (Source: Navigating to Senior Leadership in the Australian Public Service: Identifying barriers and enablers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in APS employment 2019 by Samantha Faulkner and Julie Lahn)

Why it works...

Why does Warra work?

We are committed to enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to grow, thrive and lead. It’s widely recognised that diversity brings better thinking, richer discussions, and a more inclusive workplace for everyone.

Warra is a sponsorship program targeted at cultivating an environment for emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to shine.  Concurrently, Warra builds your business leaders understanding of First Nations culture and investment in your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent pool.

By creating a transparent and more equitable system of sponsorship, Warra boosts your organisation’s ability to utilise your entire talent pool.  Warra is designed to complement your organisation’s existing leadership and development initiatives. This program enhances Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander growth and leadership, and cross-cultural capability, in your organisation.

Diverse leadership teams are more innovative and produce stronger business outcomes, this will enhance your future talent pipeline.

How it works...

How does Warra work?

Warra is delivered over a period of 6 months via a combination of face-to-face workshops, online activities and one-on-one meetings. 

You and your team will get to work with Cultivate’s team each step of the way, we provide communication products for your organisation to personalise and promote the program, to guides on how to match Sponsors and Sponsees, we even provide an evaluation report for your Senior Management team.

Warra includes pre-course work for both Sponsors and Sponsees including a cultural awareness program for non-Indigenous people that ensures a minimum understanding of First Nations cultures. The online course itself is a combination of reading, listening, participating, learning, reflecting, writing, speaking and leading delivered via our App. Post course participants are provided with information to support the continued progress towards achieving their long term aspirations.

For more information please contact: Kat@cultivatesponsorship.com

It's built on research

‘It is important to stress that the goal of Indigenous employment parity is not to ‘corporatise’ Indigenous Australians to fit the current mould of Australian workforces, at the expense of Indigenous identity, values and cultures. Rather, real progress comes from changing the mould itself. 

True success will be achieved when Indigenous economic and social disparity ends, when Indigenous Australians are present and included in Australian workforces at all levels; when employers recognise and value Indigenous ways of doing, being and knowing; and when Indigenous Australians lead organisations and influence major business decisions. Until then, both Indigenous Australians and Australian workplaces are missing out.’

Source: Minderoo Foundation, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) at Curtin University, and Murawin, 2022, Woort Koorliny – Australian Indigenous Employment Index 2022 National 

What's in a name?

Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people are the original inhabitants of Australia and have lived here for over 60,000 years. 

At Cultivate, we prefer to use the terms First Nations peoples or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when referring to the original people of Australia.

Using the term ‘Indigenous’ does not acknowledge the different histories, languages, cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people.

Is sponsorship in your 2023?

Click below to register your interest in the Cultivate Sponsorship Program for next year! But get in quick as there is only limited spots available for our 2023 intake.