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BHP today released its latest Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) committing the world’s largest miner to a range of outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the four key priority areas of economic empowerment; social and cultural support; public engagement and governance.

BHP was one of the first companies to commit to a RAP in 2007. This fifth and latest RAP, developed with Reconciliation Australia and reflective of the Company’s global approach to working with Indigenous peoples, builds on the achievements of the past and hardwires new commitments into the way the business operates.

The RAP introduced today will span from 2017 to 2022. It has been accredited as ‘Elevate’, the highest attainable level, which BHP President Minerals Australia Mike Henry said demonstrated the Company’s determination to be a partner of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Undeniably, the mining industry has worked in partnership to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but more needs to be done to make sure we continue to contribute to economic empowerment, social development needs and cultural wellbeing,”  Mr Henry said.

“We are proud of the outcomes of our last RAP, which concluded in 2016, and of our efforts since our first RAP a decade ago. We now have nearly 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees across our Australian business. This and our other accomplishments are great results.

“Around 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentices and trainees have been employed over the lifetime of our most recent RAP. A$350 million worth of contracts have been awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business between 2013 and 2015. Over 100 Indigenous Tertiary scholarships have been awarded since 2013, and more than 22,000 Australian-based employees were trained in cultural competency.”

CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Justin Mohamed, congratulated BHP on its ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

“BHP was one of the first organisations to adopt a RAP and in the years since, it has maintained a strong track record of following through with its RAP commitments and building meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Organisations such as BHP understand that by providing sustainable opportunities in education, employment and business for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the benefits flow both ways.”

The release of the RAP coincides with the official release of BHP’s global Indigenous Peoples Strategy.

BHP has worked with traditional owners from around the world to develop its Indigenous Peoples Strategy, which guides the Company’s approach to ensuring Indigenous peoples derive significant and sustainable benefit from the Company’s operations.

BHP Chief External Affairs Officer Geoff Healy said having meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with host communities was vital for BHP and the RAP was one mechanism to implement this strategy.

"For BHP and all companies – big or small – relationships and trust are the fundamental building block of who we are and what we do,” he said.

“For us to be successful over the long term, our host nations and communities must trust us and feel they benefit from our presence.

“When we first decide to establish a mine somewhere, we make a commitment to sit down with local community members, Traditional Owners, local governments and prospective employees, to establish trust and mutual benefits from the very beginning.

“Best practices enshrined in the RAP are the same that are applied to relationships with First Nations Peoples in other areas where BHP operates.”

Further information on BHP’s approach to working with Indigenous Peoples.

Our 2020 targets, a snapshot

  • Achieve total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment of 5.75 per cent of our total managed workforce including direct, contracting and labour hire employees.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples consent and agreement making processes are established for 100 per cent of new projects or major capital projects in Australia consistent with our Indigenous Peoples Policy Statement.
  • 100 per cent of Australian Assets have Local Procurement Plans that refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and identify priorities. 100 per cent of Australian Assets will promote relevant procurement opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
  • With an existing national commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander projects of more than A$30 million, annually BHP Billiton Foundation will increase investments in projects that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • BHP will continue to support and promote the Recognise campaign until a referendum is held and will support events where relevant in consultation with Recognise over the life of this RAP.

For more information, see our News Release (PDF 104 kb)

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