Phil Lockyer, a Noongar man from Western Australia, is passionate about creating real change for Indigenous people and communities.
We talked to him about his role as Indigenous Engagement Manager for IAG – the parent company of NRMA Insurance.
What’s your background?
Phil: I’ve worked in Indigenous Affairs for Federal and State Government, NGO’s, corporate companies and community organizations for fifteen years.
I really enjoy what I do and I enjoy doing it in the corporate world because I can make things happen. The reality is that it’s not very often that an Aboriginal person gets to make decisions in a corporation. I do and the result is real change, which is what I want to achieve.
What made this role appealing?
Phil: IAG wanted to establish an Indigenous Engagement Program. We are a very respected, long standing, Australian company, so there was a sense of why aren’t we involved in this? I came on board because I wanted to build something in an organization that was at the beginning of their Indigenous journey – which was exciting. And people are passionate here. Senior people are very involved, which is not always the case in corporations.
What do you do day-to-day?
Phil: I manage a Reconciliation Action Plan and that forms part of our Indigenous strategy. We have initiatives to help build stronger, safer and more confident Indigenous communities, businesses and individuals.
What have you achieved since you started?
Phil: In 18 months we’ve done quite a lot! Some of our early priorities have been the Career Trackers Internship Program, which involves us placing Indigenous university students on internship within our business while they’re on holiday. We were the second company in Australia to sign up to Career Tracker’s 10/10 Program, which involves up to a 10 year commitment. The students get paid for their internships. Last holidays we had eleven and in the summer we will hopefully have between 25-30.
We’ve also become partners with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), which is an educational program proven to support Indigenous students through high school and into uni or employment at the same rate as all Australians. We do some volunteering and fundraising for them. I’m also proud of the events we’ve done internally to support the Recognise campaign, such as Naidoc Week and National Reconciliation Week.
What are some of the other initiatives IAG is involved in?
Phil: We partner with an organization called Jawun, who bring together corporate, government, and Indigenous leaders so they can share their skills and knowledge. Through Jawun, we send our people out to work in an Indigenous organization in one of three communities, Central Coast, NSW, Shepparton, VIC, or the NPY Region in Alice Springs, NT, for six weeks.
What are you particularly proud of?
Phil: Since we started the Career Trackers program we’ve had our first wave of interns through. One of them has just started in our digital team – so that’s a big success story!