Our Shared Value

Dear Jawun family,

We often use the phrase ‘shared value‘ to describe how Jawun brings benefits to you and your organisation as well as to our Indigenous partner organisations around the country.

It is a powerful concept, and in 2015 we dedicated a publication to insights from corporate and government partners on what they saw as Jawun’s shared value proposition.

Jawun’s shared value remains relevant today, including as part of the virtual approach to connection and capacity building Jawun has put in place while travel is restricted. 

Immersed in new and often challenging ways of working and thinking, secondees report experiencing personal and professional growth, and highlight a number of key traits (which I’m sure you’ll agree are strikingly relevant in the current context).

Of all Jawun secondees to date,

  • 97% reported improved personal and professional effectiveness
  • 70% reported improved flexibility and adaptability
  • 63% reported increased tolerance of ambiguity
  • 59% reported improved self-awareness

In addition, many of our corporate and government partners view secondments as an opportunity to make a practical contribution to reconciliation, and to strengthen leadership. 

Doug Ferguson, Chairman NSW and Head of Asia and International Markets, KPMG, shared the KPMG experience of shared value proposition in a recent interview:

Our people want to go on a secondment to use their professional skills and passion to support Indigenous organisations and drive plans for community empowerment. In return they learn so much about Indigenous Australia and our shared history, while strengthening their leadership skills.

Doug Ferguson, Chairman NSW and Head of Asia International Markets, KPMG

Reflecting on Jawun’s shared value takes me back to the early days of Jawun (then Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships), and the leap of faith taken by a handful of corporate leaders inspired by Noel Pearson’s vision to end welfare dependency in Indigenous Cape York.

Back then, the few corporate employees up for the challenge were sleeping in swags on the floor of the Aurukun guest house.

It might have been uncomfortable, but the experience was transformative for secondees as well as Indigenous organisations.

Colin Carter, the former BCG Partner who helped establish Jawun, remembers how secondments supported career growth and leadership effectiveness for those who put their hand up.

Jawun became an amazing opportunity to work at the coal face and contribute. And what was gratifying for BCG was that it also became a pathway for our high fliers.

Colin Carter, former BCG Partner

Today, for those embarking on a virtual secondment, the challenge is different but no less real. Just like those who unrolled their swags in Aurukun, you are breaking new ground. 

We are seeing the impact of virtual secondments for Indigenous organisations facing one of the toughest years of their existence. And in the spirit of shared value, we hear secondees speak of learning and growth, and their employers share with pride how the partnership brings corporate values to life.


If you have 9 minutes to spare, watch this ‘highlights reel’ from a recent virtual Executive Visit to East Kimberley. There is a virtual tour of the Waringarri Arts Centre, reflections from reform champion Ian Trust, and insights from some very impressive allies in corporate and government Australia. 

You’ll also hear Ryan Novak, a virtual secondee from NAB (who you might recognise from our recent stories of secondment series) candidly share his experience from lockdown in Melbourne.

This secondment is a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Ryan Novak, Consultant, Inclusion & Diversity, NAB

Finally, for those with time and interest, check out our compilation of language resources from Jawun partner regions, below. It’s inspiring how many First Nations communities have invested in recording and generously sharing their languages. I hope you’ll make use of the wonderful opportunity to access at least one of these.

Stay connected and stay safe,

Karyn and the Jawun Team 


Be part of supporting our First Nations’ languages with these resources. From interactive apps to dictionaries, there are resources to talk your way across the country…

*Reminder*
Virtual secondments are live in Jawun partner regions. If you are an interested secondee and can spare 100 hours or more, speak to your Jawun coordinator or manager. We’d love to bring you on board!


Shout out to NAB, with virtual secondees currently placed in East Kimberley, West Kimberley and Lower River Murray, who passed an incredible milestone –  Ryan Novak, seconded to Wunan in the East Kimberley, is NAB’s 200th secondee!