Clients & Projects

How I've helped others make Indigenous employment work


The Fast Track & Aboriginal Cultural Awareness

Adssi HomeLiving Australia is an organisation committed to helping frail aged and people living with a disability to stay in their own homes.  Adssi wanted to implement their first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to improve their Aboriginal staff numbers, grow their Aboriginal client base, and work on supplier diversity.  They had strong support at a management and board level but were still unsure about what they needed to do, and what it would take to do it well.

They needed to strengthen their connection to local Aboriginal communities, prepare the workplace for success with Aboriginal staff, train their workforce to service Aboriginal clients, and grow their local Indigenous supplier base.

Blakworks' The Fast Track program got them on the right path quickly.  In three months, we:

  • Developed a clear vision of where they're headed and a plan to achieve it
  • Have a provisionally endorsed RAP, ready for final approval
  • Over 90% of their staff have completed the Aboriginal cultural awareness training
  • Implemented a Welcomes to Country and Acknowledgements of Country workplace procedure
  • Removed unnecessary barriers and established clear pathways for recruitment of Aboriginal staff
  • Reviewed their selection practices for new staff
  • Built a workplace that is overwhelmingly supportive of their reconciliation vision, and Aboriginal employment in particular

That looks a lot like commitment.  Watch this space...

If you'd like your organisation to get started in with Aboriginal employment, check out The Fast Track.


Central Coast Indigenous Jobs Market 2016

As the Co-Chair of the Central Coast Aboriginal Employment Interagency, Lindsay played a major role organising the Central Coast Indigenous Jobs Market in 2016.  This was the first time the Jobs Market joined with the Central Coast NAIDOC Community Day.  More than 4000 Aboriginal community members attended.  More than 30 employers, training providers, universities, employment service providers attended.
It was held on Tuesday 5 July 2016 at The Entertainment Grounds (Gosford Racecourse).

Central Coast NAIDOC Community Day 2016

Central Coast NAIDOC Community Day 2016

Central Coast Indigenous Jobs Market 2016

Central Coast Indigenous Jobs Market 2016


Aboriginal Cultural Training - Respecting the difference (RTD)

Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD)
October 2015 - October 2016
Central Coast Health was faced with the the roll out of their local component of the state-mandated Respecting the Difference Aboriginal cultural training.  The Local Health District first spoke with Blakworks in February 2015, developed the program in September, and launched the program to Central Coast Health staff in October 2015.  Lindsay Stanford was the lead or lone facilitator throughout the first 12 months.  More than 100 sessions were completed during this time.

I am happy to be a referee as I can provide testimonial regarding your expert skills and knowledge of facilitation and subject matter, your professionalism in presentation, attendance and communication whilst facilitating and your willingness to participate in the RTD rollout for CCLHD.
— Caron Hewett, Manager Education and Training Services, Central Coast Local Health District, 28 September 2016

Aboriginal Employment Strategy Workshop November 2015

Funded by Home and Community Care Training Project (HACCTP)
Central Coast workshop - 12 November 2015, Newcastle/Hunter workshop - 26 November 2015
Blakworks facilitated two workshops for HACC organisations to help them develop and implement Aboriginal employment plans and projects within their businesses.
Employment Coaching for job seekers 2014-2015


Employment coaching for Aboriginal Job Seekers

Mission Employment, Lake Haven & Gosford
The Salvation Army Employment Plus, Lake Haven
Joblink Plus, Charlestown
The Salvation Army Employment Plus, Wyong

The coaching is designed to get job seekers out of their comfort zone and focused on their goals.  Lindsay provided weekly one-on-one coaching of Indigenous job seekers over 6 weeks.  Coaching will work on personal development, interpersonal and employability skills, job searching skills, and career development, tailored to each job seeker.

Results: 2 of the 4 job seekers secured apprenticeships within 4 weeks of completing the coaching.  Daniel (Gosford) commenced a horticulture apprenticeship in Erina within 2 weeks of completing the coaching, and has now completed over 6 months in full-time employment.  Jermaine (Lake Haven) gained casual work within 4 weeks of the coaching, and has since gained an apprenticeship through this employment.  Another job seeker, Cheyne, gained casual work within 4 weeks of the coaching completed.

It has really helped me with my confidents [sic] to help find work. And made me confident how to speak to employers.
— Daniel (21), Gosford (now 12 months into his apprenticeship)
The most useful thing I learnt? Just go for it. To keep going.
— Male (30+), Charlestown
The most useful thing for me was learning how to work out my goals on the path I need to take in life and an understanding of how to deal with the workforce. I will remember everything that I was tort [sic] in the future.
— Female (30+), Lake Haven

Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces

Lake Macquarie City Council

Reconciliation Week 2015
Attended by Lake Macquarie City Council staff, early childhood education centres, youth services, and other community services.

What has stopped me previously from learning about Aboriginal people was the fact I was frightened I would be made to feel blamed or would feel blame. Thankfully, your presentation was far from blaming anybody. I felt a sense of relief, and the way it was all done took away my anxiety and just opened my mind completely. I have told everybody that would listen what a great workshop and learning experience it was.
— Kim Fawkes, Ranger, Lake Macquarie City Council
Your training was so powerful and honest and I hope that the more people that you empower will go away and make a difference. I left feeling with such emotions and I felt that it was important for my whole staff team to have this training.
— Lyn Best, Early Childhood Director

Open to the Public

October 2014
Hamlyn Terrace Community Centre, Wyong LGA
Organisations in attendance:  Centrelink, The Salvation Army Employment Plus, Volunteering Central Coast, The Glen, and others

The Treasury

Blakworks was engaged to provide Aboriginal cultural awareness training to The Treasury staff as a part of their Indigenous Cadetship Program, and for staff dealing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Blakworks' Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces, a 3-hour program specifically to support Indigenous employment strategies, covering Indigenous history, cultures, and community protocols.

Cricket Australia

Blakworks was engaged to provide Aboriginal cultural awareness training to Cricket NSW community development staff going into communities across NSW to promote the great game of cricket.  Blakworks' Aboriginal Cultural Awareness 3-hour program tailored to community outreach, covering Indigenous history, cultures, and community protocols. 

Reserve Bank of Australia

Blakworks was engaged to recruit an Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander person for a 12 month traineeship in business administration based in Sydney. Every year the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recruits a number of trainees, and one of these positions is routinely filled by an Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander person. In 2008, the Bank contracted me to assist in recruiting the Indigenous trainee.
After discussion with the RBA, the Trainee Recruitment & Post-Placement Support Package was selected. This provided prepared applicants to interview and mentoring and coaching to both the supervisor/s and trainee for the duration of the traineeship.
A trainee was selected and commenced in March with the trainee cohort.  The trainee has now finished the traineeship.

Macquarie University, Student Wellbeing

Invited to deliver Aboriginal cultural awareness to develop staff understanding and service delivery for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students.
Blakworks delivered its Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces with attention paid to both staff and student perspectives.
Staff reported greater understanding and awareness of the impact of history and culture on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, including Aboriginal experience of schooling, education institutions.


Indigenous Service Delivery, Macquarie University

Disability Services, Student Wellbeing (2008)
Following the Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces session delivered earlier in September, Blakworks was engaged to improve Disability Services staff’s service delivery to Aboriginal students with a disability, and improve the relationship between the Disability Services staff and the Department of Indigenous Studies Warawara staff.
Blakworks prepared and facilitated a workshop to explore service-delivery options for both Indigenous (on-campus) students and Indigenous block-mode (or off-campus) students. The workshop also examined existing communication pathways.
This resulted in greater understanding and awareness of the impact of history and culture on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, including Aboriginal experience of schooling, education institutions.  Staff reported being motivated and energised to find solutions and put them into practice.


Guest Speaking

Aboriginal Cultural Awareness seminar at Staff Conference
Auswide Projects, Bowral

Lindsay was invited to speak as a part of the Auswide Projects Staff Conference. Topic was Aboriginal cultural awareness and Indigenous employment. Auswide staff work in community, employment, training services and corporate services.
Special thanks to Maggie Burns and Kevin Stevens (CEO).

2. Schools Reconciliation Conference, ReconciliACT
Speaker and Panel Member at Schools Conference on Reconciliation
Spoke about the current state of disadvantage of Indigenous populations nationally.


Community Facilitation - Community Engagement Gathering (2010)

Nepean Division of General Practice & Sydney West Area Health Service
The Nepean Division of General Practice (NDGP) and Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) are committed to Closing The Gap, and organised a community gathering as a part of a needs assessment.  Local Indigenous community members and health workers, including GPs, were invited to attend.  NDGP wanted to encourage community members to share their experiences in using local health care services.

In particular, NDGP wanted to:

  • Provide an opportunity for Indigenous community members to have a voice about their health
  • Identify and prioritise health issues for local Indigenous people and families
  • Identify barriers to access to mainstream health services
  • Explore local solutions to Indigenous health problems


Blakworks Employment Solutions worked with Peter Stanford (WanGuy Consultancy Pty Ltd), to facilitate the workshop.  We separated the health workers and community members to allow frank discussion of local services, prioritising health needs and barriers at the local level and encouraging solutions. Then bringing the ideas and people together to share perspectives.

Over 80 people attended the Gathering, almost half of which were community members. Community members felt they had been heard, and useful insights were gathered to be used in the upcoming project "Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care Program".


Self-Development Course,Lake Macquarie High School

Blakworks approached Lake Macquarie High School (LMHS) to run a workshop for Indigenous students to increase engagement.  Two workshops (years 7-9 & years 10-12) were held where students spent a day with our Principal Consultant, Lindsay Stanford, who is also a former student of LMHS.  Students discussed the benefits of education, barriers to education and schooling, with cultural activities.


Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Development, Australian National University (ANU)

Reconciliation Action Plan (Aug 2008 - July 2009) – RAP Team Member
To provide advice and assist in the development a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to demonstrate the University’s commitment to the reconciliation process, and to build a greater respect for Indigenous peoples within the ANU.
The process included conducting a University-wide audit of existing strategies and initiatives, followed by internal University consultation, and community consultation.
A comprehensive Plan was developed and approved by ANU Council in March 2009. The plan will be launched on 30 July 2009.
More information about the RAP can be found at: http://www.anu.edu.au/equity/_current_issues.html


Trainee Recruitment & Mentoring

Reserve Bank of Australia (2008-2009)
Prepare work areas for hosting an Indigenous trainee in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s annual traineeship program.
Blakworks Employment Solutions provided its Aboriginal Cultural Awareness for Workplaces.
Over 60 staff have attended the training, with wide-spread support for the Indigenous traineeship initiative.