A partnership addressing equity and gender in the construction industry and influencing social change has been announced between Richmond, the Club’s community programs the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) and the Bachar Houli Foundation (BHF), and Lendlease.

The partnership will create real employment and skilling opportunities for KGI and BHF participants, Richmond AFLW Players and Richmond AFL Wheelchair Players to work on Lendlease’s current and future projects. It offers employment, education and future career pathways for Aboriginal Victorians and other ethnic minority groups.

The partnership is set to guide industry transformation to drive a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Its focus is on gender, First Nations, cultural diversity and people of all abilities participating within the workforce and supply chain network. 

The announcement of the partnership comes as the Victorian Government launches the Building Equality Policy, an Australian first that aims to increase diversity and disrupt stereotypes in the construction industry. The new requirements are being introduced through Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework.

Richmond CEO, Brendon Gale said that Lendlease and the Club had many shared values.

“Lendlease has already made significant commitments to using their capacity, and operations, to advance areas important to our football club, staff, stakeholders and the broader community,” he said.

“Whilst we are focusing our efforts initially on the Melbourne Quarter project, we are confident that this will provide a platform for us to continue to build and expand upon with other projects in the future.”

Gale added that providing professional development opportunities formed a key part of the work that KGI and BHF do building future leaders within the community.

“The Bachar Houli Employment program was established to promote employment among the Muslim youth across Australia and provide mentoring and employment transitional plans.

“This partnership with Lendlease, will allow young Islamic people to work on the Melbourne Quarter project and contribute to the future of our growing city.

“Over the last 10 years the Korin Gamadji Institute is proud to have engaged with thousands of young Indigenous people and to help create the next generation of leaders in our community. 

“There are many exciting opportunities at Lendlease for our alumni and program participants to gain experience and potentially career pathways into the sector. 

“This partnership is very exciting for the young people from both of these communities.”

Lendlease General Manager, Building, Victoria- Bill Alexandrakis added that people were at the very core of the construction industry, and that Lendlease was committed to creating a positive social legacy through everything they do.

“As an industry of over 1.1 million people, we have a responsibility and obligation as a major Australian-owned contractor to provide long-term career pathways for priority cohorts. It’s our social license to operate. 

“We must ensure the talent and workforce across our projects reflects the diversity of the communities in which we operate. We are collaborating with community and like-minded organisations to make this happen.”

KGI Director - Aaron Clark, BHF Founder and former Richmond star Bachar Houli, Richmond AFLW player Poppy Kelly and Richmond Wheelchair captain Chris Henderson were amongst Richmond representatives at Lendlease’s Melbourne Quarter development on Tuesday as part of the announcement. (Photos: Wayne Ludbey)