Our Vision for Reconciliation
Veolia is committed to walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to connect, learn, and create sustainable opportunities in the communities in which we live and operate. Our vision for reconciliation is a future where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures, opportunities and connection to Country is recognised as central to contributing to a sustainable Australia.
Our Holistic Approach
Reconciliation is a tapestry woven from multiple threads, and we understand that it is not a single issue but an intricate web of interconnected aspects. For instance, an enhanced education system not only imparts knowledge but also fosters greater understanding, improves race relations, and reduces bias in the workplace. Our vision for reconciliation is holistic, and Veolia's focus areas span education, employment, community, and business, all in alignment with Reconciliation Australia's comprehensive model.
Current RAP Program
Our vision for Reconciliation is informed by worldwide frameworks, the Group’s global strategy and our Company Purpose, and is aligned with Reconciliation Australia’s pillars, the Closing the Gap targets and achieving sustainable outcomes, economically, socially, and environmentally for, and with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Our RAP provides the framework for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement including opportunities for Aboriginal business and increased supplier diversity.
Supporting Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution, as well as a Makarrata Commission to oversee a process of truth-telling and agreement-making between government and First Nations peoples. This statement is a powerful symbol of unity, hope, and a shared vision for a better future. You have the opportunity to support a voice for generations!
Discover more using the Uluru Statement Supporters kit.
Discover our story in Bamaga
We invite you to embark on a journey with us, exploring how Veolia collaborates with an Indigenous community in Bamaga, nestled within the Northern Peninsula area of Queensland. This partnership enables us to delve deep into the unique needs of this community and craft tailored solutions that ensure access to safe drinking water for all.
Our Focus Areas
We are committed to contributing to Reconciliation Australia’s five dimensions of reconciliation. We acknowledge that reconciliation is not a single issue, but weaves all these threads together, such as improved education of our people will lead to greater understanding and improved race relations and reduced bias in the workplace.
Consequently, our vision for reconciliation is holistic. Veolia’s focus areas are education, employment, community and business and support Reconciliation model.
Learn more about our current RAP and watch our videos here which include our staff, communities and charity partners:
What is a RAP?
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) provides a strategic framework to support our Business Plan. It includes practical actions that will drive Veolia’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and the communities in which we operate. The RAP program contributes to advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation.
Genuine reconciliation weaves these threads together. To be successful, these dimensions must be seen to be interrelated and co-dependent. Consequently, RAPs support organisations to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful and sustainable opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To learn more about RAPs visit Reconciliation Australia’s website.
Why is it important?
Veolia acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are the world’s oldest living civilization, sustainably developing the environment for over 60,000 years. We also acknowledge that over the past 200 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have continued to be subject to social injustice, racism, and intergenerational trauma.
Whilst Veolia recognizes inequality, we do not want to mask the achievements and resilience of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities by only viewing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through a deficit perspective, but also take the chance to develop a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to care for Country and develop the local economy in their traditional areas is vital in creating long term sustainable development in Australia.
Veolia is committed to walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to connect, learn, and create sustainable opportunities in the communities in which we live and operate.
Our track record
Veolia has always been an active participant in the communities in which we operate, and we believe we have a genuine responsibility to contribute to reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and nonIndigenous Australians.
Working with communities, developing relationships, and providing opportunities with, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is the right thing to do as part of maintaining a sustainable Australia.
In 2013 we commenced our journey to formally recognise our partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the development and implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan, our first RAP was released in 2014
Our first RAP was the starting point of our journey, with the actions we committed to enabling us to develop long term relationships with communities and organisations such as Engineering Aid, as well as putting in policies and procedures to support employment, with the first step of giving employees the option to self-identify as Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander peoples. We focused on increasing workforce participation, diversifying our supply chain to include more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business and increasing the cultural awareness of our employees. In 2013 we also commenced our joint venture with Our Country; North West Alliance.
The success of supporting such programs has provided a platform on which we can grow and learn and continue to promote reconciliation which has now led us to our third RAP overall and first Stretch RAP.
The North West Alliance (NWA) is a 50:50 partnership between Veolia and Our Country, an Australian Aboriginal business. The joint venture operates in the Pilbara region, a remote area of Australia that has large oil & gas and mining operations, tough weather conditions, low population and vast distances between areas where waste is generated.
The partnership was structured around the vision of collaborating with customers to minimise their environmental footprint while maximising their local impact. Local solutions backed by global capability has proven to be a key to unlocking unrealised value and our partnering and empowering of the local community has been the key to our success. The North West Alliance was featured by Reconciliation Australia for its RAPs in Action series. Watch the video.
Learn more about our operations in Port Hedland and the North West Alliance here
Veolia has a long term partnership with the Cowboys Community Foundation to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students through an education and transition program - Learn, Earn, Legend! The program sees students mentored and supported throughout the year. It helps to instil self-confidence, encourage education beyond high school and a brighter future. Additionally, the partnership supports the NRL Cowboys House, a unique accommodation solution, enabling students from remote communities across North Queensland to access a secondary education that is not readily available in their local community.
Waste Aid (Community Resources) works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities to create long-term sustainable solutions to address inadequate waste management in disadvantaged communities and in doing so reduce the adverse environmental health impacts. Veolia has provided sponsorship to Waste Aid to enable the employment of a full-time project officer.
Veolia has partnered with Engineering Aid since 2013 to support their Indigenous Australian Engineering Schools program to provide Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students insights into engineering and university life. During the week-long school, participants are given the opportunity to meet engineers, take part in design wok, visit working sites and gain an understanding of the employment opportunities in the sector. Veolia provides education classes on current environmental issues and how our services and facilities support a move towards more sustainable practices. In 2019, Veolia attended both schools at Curtin University and Sydney University and provided a visit to Barangaroo water recycling and district heating and cooling operations. Veolia has also hosted events for Engineering Aid Australia including a Thank You event for partners