Date posted: 16/10/2023

CA ANZ remains committed to walking with Australia’s First Nations people

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand acknowledges the outcome of the Australian referendum to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

In September 2022, the CA ANZ Board accepted the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk with First Nations people in a movement of all Australian people for a better future and to support a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament.

CA ANZ remains fully committed to walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, because our profession is stronger when it includes the best and brightest talent drawn from the widest possible cross section of society.

We will continue our work to increase – from 0.5% – the low number of Australian members identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who participate in our profession.

While there will always be more CA ANZ can do to increase the profession’s connection to, and representation from, the world’s oldest continuous culture, our work to advance First Nations inclusion in the profession includes:

  • support for the Australian Business Dean’s Council (ABDC) Indigenous Summer School Program as a founding partner in pre-enablement programs with universities and leading employers;
  • supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarships for outstanding future CAs;
  • our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Member Panel, advocating for First Nations members and sharing insights on widening participation and inclusion; and
  • addressing the issue of “you can’t be what you can’t see” by raising the profile of First Nations CAs so young Indigenous kids have role-models to emulate.

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are also available to all members. This confidential program supports you and members of your family through counselling services and can be accessed 24 hours, seven days a week. As a member of Chartered Accountants ANZ, up to three sessions are provided free of charge.

John Palermo FCA

Ainslie van Onselen
Chief Executive

The featured illustration was created by Tyrown Waigana, a Wandandi Noongar and Ait Koedal artist, with connection to people in south-west WA and Saibai Island in the Torres Strait. He says: “The artwork has three key symbols. The first one is an oval shape with a line in it symbolising an ear, which represents a willingness to listen. The second is a funnel shape indicating a megaphone, which means amplification of voice. The last is speech marks at both ends, showing in and out voice. “I think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is ultimately a request for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be in control of their own lives. As it stands, we have little-to-no say in what happens to us. It’s interesting to think if the shoe was on the other foot a lot of non-Indigenous people would be deeply unsettled by the notion only First Nations peoples make decisions for them.”