At Symal, we’re committed to creating not only a more inclusive and diverse workplace but to making a meaningful difference in the wider construction industry.
We want to not only meet social procurement targets but to create sustainable employment and career development opportunities for those who have not traditionally been exposed to such opportunities within our industry.
Observing the impact of transient employment and lack of representation of Aboriginal workers in construction, we launched our Aboriginal contracting business Wamarra in early 2020, led by Managing Director and proud Aboriginal man of the Wiradjuri Nation. Wamarra’s mandate is to provide meaningful and sustainable employment for Aboriginal people and create a culturally safe and inclusive environment for Aboriginal people to grow and thrive.
In Wamarra’s first year, 23 Aboriginal people were employed to work on projects such as the Level Crossing Removal project, North East Link, Major Roads Hallam Road upgrade, Mooroolbark MLCP, Sunshine Hospital, Chisholm Road Prison and Youth Justice Redevelopment to name a few.
Aligning with Symal provides the perfect learning environment for Wamarra staff, with opportunities to utilise the company’s diverse resources to deliver quality project outcomes in any construction environment. In turn, working with Wamarra positively raises cultural awareness and inclusion amongst Symal staff.
To increase understanding and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and knowledge, our people took part in cultural awareness training delivered by Indigenous Cultural Connections.
Facilitated by Yorta Yorta woman Seona James, the interactive workshop provided an in-depth understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, including Seona’s personal stories. We investigated Aboriginal cultural practices and discussed how they can be incorporated into our working environment.
The training is all part of Symal’s reconciliation journey and Reconciliation Action Plan over the next year. We’re excited to take this journey, creating a culturally respectful and safe workplace for all our people.