BWM Dentsu Group and Swinburne University launch Indigenous internship

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BWM Dentsu Group (including Haystac, Cox Inall Communications, Cox Inall Change, and Cox Inall Ridgeway – an Indigenous social impact agency) has today announced its strategic partnership with Swinburne University and internship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students looking to enter the creative and media industries.

The Indigenous internship is one of the first of its kind in the sector, and is being undertaken by the BWM Dentsu Group as part of its recently implemented Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a document created with the intention of building a bridge between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

The partnership aligns with Swinburne University’s own RAP, which achieved Elevate status – the highest possible RAP level – in 2017. In addition, the partnership is in line with the university’s long history of championing professional placements and internships to enhance the skills and employment prospects of its students. 

Co-designed to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the internship is expected to help address the underrepresentation of Indigenous people in the creative industries[1]

Belinda Murray, Managing Director of BWM Dentsu Melbourne, said: “We want to ensure the creative sector is a welcoming, dynamic, safe and nurturing environment for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. On top of this, we’re also excited to improve BWM Dentsu Group’s creative offering by opening ourselves up to the diversity of thinking that this talented group of young people will bring to the agency.

“Through this partnership with Swinburne University, we aren’t just helping young people find their feet in a new industry, we’re also helping our industry grow and thrive as a result of improved inclusion and diversity.”

Professor Andrew Gunstone, Executive Director of Reconciliation Strategy and Leadership at Swinburne said: “Swinburne, and the Moondani Toombadool Centre, prides itself on its commitment to student success. This program presents a fantastic opportunity for Swinburne Indigenous students to gain exposure to the creative industry, while also aligning with Swinburne’s vision to create future-ready learners, and our RAP’s commitment to self-determination and reciprocity.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the BWM Dentsu Group to offer Swinburne Indigenous students such a wide and compelling range of opportunities. Together, we’re excited about creating experiences that extend student knowledge, bring Indigenous knowledge to industry, and foster understanding. Everyone benefits from that kind of partnership.”

Students involved in the program will begin their internship in January 2019 in the BWM Dentsu Group’s Melbourne office, and work across all the agencies in the BWM Dentsu Group. The Group plans to roll out a similar program in its Sydney office later in 2019.

All agency staff will participate in cultural awareness training to increase their broader knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters, people, culture and heritage.

[1] According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the Information Media and Telecommunications was 1,687 in October 2017, while Roy Morgan data suggests the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Arts and Media industry is too small to report on at all.