Qantas Confirms Commitment to Indigenous Initiatives

Sydney, 03 June 2009

Qantas today restated its commitment to employing Indigenous Australians, and supporting Indigenous organisations and initiatives, with the latest refresh of its Reconciliation Action Plan and report on the first year of implementation of the plan.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said the airline was among the first Australian companies to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in consultation with Reconciliation Australia.

"Qantas first established an Indigenous employment program in 1988, but took its commitment in this area to another level in November 2007 with the development and release of its RAP," Mr Joyce said.

"The RAP is an important and very tangible expression of our commitment to reconciliation - both within the workplace and the wider community.

"Reconciliation Australia requires that organisations report annually on implementation of their RAP and to refresh the document to ensure it remains relevant, appropriate and achievable.

"We have done this to coincide with National Reconciliation Week which focuses on building relationships for change between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

"The Qantas RAP is now aligned with Reconciliation Australia's new format under the elements of Respect, Relationships and Opportunities, but still incorporates key objectives from the first RAP in 2007."

Mr Joyce said the RAP remained the driving force behind a range of recruitment and employee engagement initiatives that were making a real difference.

"The Qantas Group currently employs nearly 270 Indigenous Australians across a range of areas and we have met our first RAP's 2008 recruitment objective," he said.

"The current economic environment will impact recruitment in 2009/10, as indicated in our first RAP report which has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia."

Mr Joyce said all of the Qantas Group's Indigenous employment, engagement and sponsorship programs remained closely aligned with the RAP. These include:
* Bangarra Dance Theatre;
* the Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir;
* the Art Gallery of NSW and its Yiribana Gallery;
* the Qantas Young and Emerging Indigenous Visual Arts Award (presented on 27 May); and
* the AFL's Indigenous Programs and the AFL Kickstart Program.

He said Qantas had run a cross-cultural awareness training program for managers during the week and also continued to work with IBM to increase the number of Indigenous Australians working in the information technology industry.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3922)