Matt Pellow, proud Gamillaraay man of the Kamilaroi Nation, believes that regardless of where a person sits in our world, that from a cultural sense, we are all interlinked. His role covers working together with his colleagues in both the Indigenous Specialist Services team and Major Projects to look for all aspect of opportunities for Aboriginal alignment.
The Kamilaroi Nation is of vast expanse, lying within northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, stretching as far as the Hunter Valley in NSW through to Nindigully in Qld and as far west as the Warrumbungle Mountains near Coonabarabran in NSW, sweeping across the Liverpool Plains. Centres within this nation incorporate Quirindi, Tamworth, Narrabri, Walgett, Lightening Ridge, Moree, Boggabilla, Gunnedah, Mungindai, Muttutundi, Singleton and Nindigully.
To be able to change the paradigm of doing business, our Indigenous Specialist Services team has the skill and the knowledge to engage with our Aboriginal Communities for the best delivery of a project.
From a background in the technical trades and road design, Matt worked in on-site construction before moving into consulting 15 years ago.
“The skill I bring to WSP is being able to understand from a technical background in developing the business as usual strategy,” Matt explains. “By looking for opportunities through multiple lenses, my aim is to identify what Aboriginal people can bring to our delivery approach by the understanding of our skills, our culture, our knowledge, and offering this for the benefit of the organisation and the project.”
Working with Indigenous Specialist Services Director (Major Projects) Julia Carpenter to address the relationship between local communities and the business, Matt’s role developed from his work implementing a job ready program bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into WSP projects and assisting with mentoring.
Matt says, “When I previously worked with Julia, we realised that a lot of people working at WSP never had a relationship with Aboriginal culture and people. Our involvement together now and with the Indigenous Specialist Services team are just small steps to closing the gap.”
Why is it important for WSP to connect to Country?
“Aboriginal people have a lot of solutions for many of the issues of today across all communities,” says Matt.
“It’s important to bring the opportunity for Aboriginal involvement into what we do, we are missing a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of our country and how Aboriginal knowledge can be incorporated into our projects for ‘business as usual’. To be able to change the paradigm of doing business, our Indigenous Specialist Services team has the skill and the knowledge to engage with our Aboriginal Communities for the best delivery of a project.”
What has been your standout moment working for WSP?
“Bringing young Aboriginal people into the business and seeing them continue the journey,” says Matt.
“For me the standout time is initiating the contact, securing the employment and seeing this relationship grow. To see the collaboration – how it influences both the business and the person who is employed.”
What is one thing we all can do to understand Country in the context of place?
Matt’s response is, “To be mindful that there is a culture and a language associated across the country that has been passed down for thousands of years that is important to our indigenous people. By preserving and showcasing, it can be for the value of all Australians.”
Find out more about the Indigenous Specialist Services team.