Skip to the article content

NBN Co furthers commitment to First Peoples with Jawun collaboration

09 July 2021

NBN Co is excited to announce its further commitment to lifting the digital capability of First Peoples with a forward-looking relationship with Jawun.

This NAIDOC week, NBN Co is proud to announce a new three-year collaboration with Jawun, an innovative non-for-profit improving the capacity of Indigenous leaders, organisations, and communities to achieve their own development goals. 

The collaboration will see up to 12 NBN Co employees seconded into Indigenous organisations across Australia, using their expertise to help communities enhance their digital capability.

The announcement enhances a week of NAIDOC celebrations for NBN Co, centred around stories of First Peoples history, culture, and excellence, and  the company’s commitment to strengthening relationships and creating opportunities for First Peoples and their communities.

Sally Kincaid, Chief People & Culture Officer at NBN Co said:

“Our NBN Co team is proud to contribute to the ‘Heal Country, Heal our Nation’ theme this NAIDOC week. We do this through our reconciliation vision – set out in our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP IV)*– as well as through the work we do each day alongside Indigenous communities across Australia.

“I strongly endorse the role of organisations – whether corporates, government enterprises or academic institutions – leaning in to move the reconciliation dial in Australia and that’s what Jawun is all about: bringing those organisations together.

“For NBN Co, our association with Jawun will be a tangible way for our people to live the nbn™ purpose of lifting the digital capability of Australia. By going on country and working with Indigenous organisations, and then coming back to continue their own reconciliation journey, this relationship also offers our secondees both a personal and professional development opportunity.  

“On a personal note, I am fortunate to have been able to have two experiences with Jawun in a previous role. The first was in a remote setting, in Cape York in Far North Queensland, and the second was in an urban setting, in Sydney’s Redfern. These diverse experiences through Jawun mirror our breadth in NBN Co, and that’s so important for an organisation like ours with a truly national footprint.

“NBN Co acknowledges and celebrates First Peoples and recognises their role as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters across Australia this NAIDOC Week and every week. We are privileged to work across all corners of this vast country and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging, especially those within our company.”

Shane Webster, General Manager, Regions at Jawun said:

“It’s exciting for Jawun to work with NBN Co in support of Indigenous led change and reform, with a strong focus on lifting digital capability.

“What we are seeing now, particularly with COVID-19, is a range of projects and requests from communities with a strong theme around digitisation. It will be great to see what skill sets NBN Co can match with the needs of our First Peoples, and even more exciting to see the results.”

This collaboration builds on NBN Co’s ongoing commitment to working with First Peoples. In 2021, these achievements included:

  • Launching and implementing NBN Co’s fourth Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and launching the LAKUN Committee of action owners and champions responsible for its delivery.
  • Continuing NBN Co’s engagement with First Peoples communities through our Executive Manager - Indigenous Affairs Che Cockatoo-Collins, and nbn local teams to build connection to country.  Increasing digital ability through culturally-led cyber awareness and education sessions.
  • Connecting over 50 remote First Peoples communities respectfully and safely, and providing access to vital services such as education, telehealth, and government services during COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Focusing on hiring First Peoples employees through appropriate First Peoples channels such as Korri Mail and AES (Aboriginal Employment Strategy) to communicate employment opportunities with NBN Co.
  • Collaborating with educational institutions to increase First Peoples women and girls STEM participation to improve employment pipeline.
  • Participating in the ABCN (Australian Business & Community Network) led initiative - First Nations Goals Program to mentor First People’s secondary school students to make informed career choices.
  • Continue our partnership with Supply Nation to increase supplier diversity and ensure that our Purchasing Framework and Guidelines principles support our commitment to First Peoples businesses.
  • Showcasing the indigenous dance performance “Spirit: A retrospective 2021” by Bangarra Dance Theatre by partnering with Sydney Festival to take this performance to First Peoples for screenings in Stradbroke, Santa Teresa, Bateman’s Bay and Bangalow.
  • Collaborating with key government and peak industry bodies to improve telehealth capabilities and digital health participation.
  • Launching Liakukana Connect, a network to bring NBN Co’s First Peoples’ employees together in a forum that meets every 6-8 weeks to review and inform current needs and programs.
  • Growing our internal reconciliation employee led First People’s events and increasing grassroots participation. 

NBN Co’s First People Projects in the remainder of 2021 will include:

  • Collaborating with Artlands 2021, Australia’s largest regional arts gathering, to help expand the NBN Co’s understanding of regional, rural, and remote Australia and to enable First People creators and audiences to realise the benefits of digital participation.
  • Implementing an awareness campaign to educate on the benefits of nbn™ services to Country.
  • Supporting remote communities in times of need, NBN Co will launch a range of connectivity support measures including nbn™ Disaster Satellite Services, additional Road Muster Trucks, and additional Portable Satellite Kits.
  • Expanding the NBN Co Internship program in partnership with Career Trackers and link the internship to nbn™ graduate programs to facilitate First Peoples' pathways.
  • Continue to explore relevant product development opportunities, in partnership with First Peoples’ communities.
  • Continue to implement and build on First Peoples procurement strategy and develop First Peoples supply chains.

Che Cockatoo-Collins NBN Co Executive Manager - Indigenous Affairs said:

“I am proud to be in a position to act as a conduit to and from Country to enable our team at NBN Co to deliver on our Reconciliation Action Plan by deepening our understanding of what Indigenous organisations, and the communities they serve, need to lift their digital capabilities. 

“Our research has shown that digital inclusion of First Peoples is falling behind that of other Australians and we are committed to working to bridge the gap and improve access to essential health and government services. 

“This relationship between NBN Co and Jawun (which means friend or family) becomes more valuable because as recently as the end of June we visited many communities in Cape York and the people there communicated their key priorities are additional information on the role of nbn in providing access to reliable telecommunications which is a need that is echoed on Country around our nation.”


*Click here for the NBN Co RAP: Reconciliation Action Plan | nbn (

Images & more commentary: Available on Request

Notes to editors

Note 1: NBN Co spokespeople can be made available for comment/interviews during and post NAIDOC Week 2021.

Note 2: For more information on Jawun visit

For more information, visit

Media enquiries

Sarah Coligan, External Communications Manager
Phone:0404 003 061

NBN Co Media Hotline
Phone:02 9927 4200

Media resources