In 2018, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) added a diversity and inclusion schedule to its open and competitive aid tenders over $500,000. This requires companies to describe how they will involve women, culturally and linguistically diverse people, Indigenous Australians and people with a disability as part of their head office or in the delivery of project services. It has rigorously reinforced this, after initially finding the initiative needed to gain acceptance from line areas in DFAT, some of which were removing the schedule thinking it was optional. DFAT also launched online marketplace AusConnect to make it easier to link searchers and suppliers with opportunities, and increased its engagement with Indigenous businesses through summits and fairs.
Over the past two years, DFAT has doubled Indigenous procurement, with nine contracts with technology company Gulanga alone, to a value of $2.75m. This shows the diversity strategy is not just a “tick and flick” exercise.