Good News Story: Jacaranda Industries and Cultural Inclusion

Formed in 2004, Jacaranda Industries is a commercial joiner, certified fabricator and installers of solid surfaces and acoustic solutions located in North Shore.

As GROW signatories, Jacaranda have shown their commitment to improving diversity within the workplace, in particular by engaging youth and embracing cultural inclusivity, a significant part of the GROW and Give Where You Live purpose.

With a team of over 100 staff, they also understand that 10 per cent of their team are located within GROW target areas and thereby attempt to improve the inequality and disadvantage many face in these areas.

Cultural inclusion is a hugely important aspect of bridging the gap in employment rates for First Nations people.

It’s crucial for organisations and businesses to adjust their processes to account for cultural differences, provide ongoing training, flexibility, positive feedback and avoid stereotyping and discrimination.

After attending a presentation by Yurringa, an indigenous employment organisation in Shepparton, a business alignment was formed with Jacaranda.

“For Jacaranda to get the opportunity to learn about and understand cultural difference in turn helps to shape expectations and support good communication”- John Giles Director of Jacaranda Industries.

Jacaranda currently has an Indigenous mature-age, first-year apprentice undertaking a Certificate III in Cabinet Making.

Now employed at Jacaranda, Alex a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunai Kurnai man, initially reached out to Yurringa after becoming unemployed due to COVID-19. With Yarrunga’s connection to Jacaranda, Alex started as a general hand which eventuated into being offered a cabinet-making apprenticeship.

Alex says that working with a company that is as welcoming and supportive as Jacaranda is a new experience for him.

Alex’s story is a great example of how businesses can embrace diversity and the GROW values, not only to support cultural inclusion within the Australian workforce, but as a responsibility to bridging the gap and making a difference to people’s lives with limited opportunities.

The Give Where You Live Foundation’s mission is to create a fairer, more inclusive community. This includes creating equal access to employment opportunities for all in our community. GROW is one way the Foundation helps do this.

Learn more about GROW here.