Reconciliation the Australian way

In Australia, Aboriginal communities are often faced with difficulties such as isolation, restricted access to education and employment, disparities in healthcare quality, and many social challenges such as drug use and a higher disability rate than non-indigenous Australians.
Published in the dossier of January 2017

It is therefore urgent to take measures to reduce inequalities between the indigenous and non-indigenous populations. Like the partnership established between Veolia and the NGO Outback Academy Australia, which champions the social inclusion of indigenous communuties through employment, training and promotion of their traditions and culture.

Reconciliation: a wide-ranging program

> The initiatives carried out by Veolia fall within a vast national program known as the Reconciliation  Action Plan. Since 2014, it has been promoting actions to improve the employment and social inclusion
of Aboriginal communities. For a better understanding of Veolia’s actions to promote “reconciliation,” visit

> Supporting communities:
Since late 2015, the partnership with the Outback Academy Australia has led Veolia to assist the  Roelands Village community in Western Australia in developing its environmental management: treating water and managing waste and energy.

Paralympic spirit:
Several members of the Red Dust Heelers represented Australia at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, including Brad Ness, who had the honor of being chosen to carry the flag for the national team.

For over thirty years, the Outback Academy Australia has been developing its networks and experience to boost employment in indigenous areas. Among the many actions that it undertakes, two relate to environmental management: a joint initiative with the public agency for managing the national parks in the State of Victoria, Parks Victoria, and support for the inhabitants of Roelands Village (see boxed text). Each of these actions is based on skills acquisition for the benefit of the native communities. A commitment that Veolia shares through its activities and that motivates the Group’s support for the Academy. “Sustainable partnerships can only be successfully created by strengthening the ties with the indigenous communities with whom we live and work,” states Anja Bonnard, Credit Supervisor and Community Ambassador for Veolia in Australia and New Zealand for the past three years.
Within the framework of this partnership, Veolia also supports the Red Dust Heelers, a wheelchair basketball team in Australia’s national wheelchair basketball league working alongside Aborigines with a disability. According to Anja Bonnard, this multicultural group has an exemplary impact on marginalized communities:

“The programs run by the Red Dust Heelers go beyond purely sports activities. They encourage young people to get involved in all aspects of community life to help them rise above any kind of disability.”