Indigenous business leadership – Board Appointments and Executive Search

First Nations leadership and success is our business vision.

More experienced Indigenous leaders holding key decision-making roles across our corporate, government and industry sectors, will result in intergenerational change.

Everywhen is driven to enable greater diversity in the workforce, and more specifically within leadership teams to create enduring change. We have facilitated this change by playing a lead role in the placement of influential leaders to senior positions including CEO appointments to Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations

Broader diversity at the decision-making table provides new voices, experiences and approaches to problem solving. Most critically however, it adds new levels of depth to existing capabilities and delivers a more accurate representation of its stakeholders and the communities in which they operate.

Boards play a critical role in the performance of organisations, and broader diversity at this level delivers better financial and non-financial results

Experience in working with Indigenous Boards in community over a number of years has enabled Everywhen to develop a deep understanding of the complexities and cultural nuances of community-led governance. The intersectionality of Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of working, and the dynamics of accountability to community and funding providers are key considerations in assessing Board effectiveness.

Likewise, the addition of First Nations appointments to Corporate and Government Boards brings diversity that is evidenced to impact talent engagement, customer experience, decision-making, and productivity.

Everywhen – Creating a First Nations leadership ecosystem

Our identification of Nation-wide Indigenous leaders from all facets of industry and community is an ongoing commitment by us to create pathways for future leaders and cultivate environments of inclusion and learning.

Everywhen’s support for and work across the community-controlled sector has led to our frequent involvement in Executive Search for Chief Executive Officer’s across this sector. In 2018, we were approached by the Board Chair of a large community-controlled organisation to recruit a new Chief Executive Officer. An imminent expansion of service delivery across multiple sites required the leadership and influence of a commercially astute candidate with the relevant connections to community and a specialist understanding of the health sector.

Indigenous Business Leadership

We approach our search activities utilising a double diamond method of discovery to identify and contextualise skills set against key professional attributes typically leadership, empathy, change management, communication, self-awareness. We work with an initial longlist based on research and mapping of the sector through referrals and targeted activity to arrive at a longlist which is then refined in discussion with the client and based on initial screening interviews.

Everywhen’s deep National connections across this sector enabled us to draw on our community-centric networks to profile the opportunity, in addition to running parallel advertising campaigns across both mainstream and Indigenous-specific media. Our focus on targeted search is an Everywhen strength, and we were able to source a strong emerging leader with deep connections to the community in question for the role. Nearly 5 years on, this service is one of the leading providers in its industry and has expanded its service delivery across multiple program areas. Everywhen has since been recruited to work closely with the Board on the development of effective community and corporate governance structures.

Everywhen has recently completed a Board search for two Non-Executive Directors for a National Aboriginal not-for-profit community Organisation. Both appointed candidates were approached during the search phase, based on geography, skill-set and National influence and their recruitment to this diverse Board will position the Board well for expansion Nationally and internationally.

Greater diversity of thought through First Nations leadership

The recruitment of Indigenous leaders into Senior Executive or Board positions is a generative process. That is, the collective nature of culture and the role modelling that is created for emerging leaders inspires professional development and career advancement at all levels.

We work closely with established and emerging First Nations leaders to cultivate mentoring circles and trusted networks, which are in turn supported through our partnerships with educational institutions such as QUT and University of Queensland.

Driving economic development relies on cultivating leadership pathways for First Nations peoples across all industries, and we could argue that all Boards as a commitment to Reconciliation should have a First Nations candidate as part of their composition. How else will business or organisations demonstrate commitment to Aboriginal advancement, if First Nations voices are not heard or part of executive decision making.

The centrality of culture and the diversity of thought and experience Indigenous Australia bring to the table must be supported and actively targeted.

‘You need broader diversity to give you a better understanding of the social contract you’re part of. If there is one group in Australia that understands the necessity of the group above self, it’s Aboriginal people.’[1]

[1] I.Hamm Australian Institute of Company Directors ‘Why every Board needs Indigenous Directors’, 01 July 2020

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website makes every effort to respect cultural traditions and protocols. First Nations readers are advised content may contain images, voices, videos and names of people who have passed away.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and First Nations, Traditional Custodians of Australia’s lands and waterways. We also acknowledge the dispossession of First Nations people from their lands, the dispersal and relocation of communities, the erosion of traditional customs and languages, and the removal of children from their families, have resulted in the disconnection of generations of families from their traditional homelands, languages and culture.

We pay our respect to Elders of the past, those of the present and those of the future for they hold the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people