First Nations cultural heritage and engagement

MATERIAL TOPIC

We acknowledge the unique connection that First Nations communities have to land, waters and the environment

We believe First Nations cultural heritage and industry can successfully coexist.

We seek to ensure Traditional Owners and Custodians are central to heritage management so that cultural values are understood and remain protected. We understand the importance of identifying and working with those who have longstanding cultural and spiritual connections to land and waters where we have a presence, and we are guided by them in our efforts to avoid or minimise potential impact of our operations on those First Nations communities. 

We partner with First Nations communities to create positive outcomes that leave a lasting legacy.

We acknowledge the diversity of the First Nations communities in the areas where we are present. When communicating with a wide audience, Woodside uses the term Indigenous and First Nations interchangeably. On a local level, Woodside will be guided by the community as to the appropriate terms of reference. 

Highlights1

  • Extensive consultations in relation to cultural heritage management approvals.  
  • Progression of relationships in New Zealand with the Ngāi Tahu iwi relevant to the Southern Green Hydrogen Project, with a continued focus on strengthening stakeholder relationships.
  • Provision of support for consultation with First Nations stakeholders relevant to environment plan approvals.
  • Continued commitment to support submerged heritage research at Murujuga to inform project implementation and manage possible impacts. 
  • First Nations Advisory Group Roundtable discussions. 
  1. This section refers to highlights within a specific time period. Please note that the relevant year, where the activity applies, is stated where appropriate. Where we refer to our activities without reference to a previous calendar year or using present tense, the relevant content may be updated from time to time at our discretion but no reliance should be placed by the reader on this page being up-to-date. We also recommend checking our Announcements page regarding our most recent business activities.

Potential opportunities

  • Pursue initiatives in addition to existing Reconciliation Action Plan Targets.
  • Further develop relationships with First Nations communities in the areas where we are active.
  • Pursue and formalise First Nations partnerships in the areas where we are active.

Potential risks

  • Woodside contributes to negative impacts to Murujuga Rock Art.

  • Woodside does not meet local content outcomes for First Nations communities.

  • Woodside does not meet expectations of First Nations communities in areas where we are active. 

Our approach1

Our First Nations Communities Policy defines our approach and is regularly reviewed and updated as required. Woodside employees, contractors and joint venture partners engaged in activities under Woodside’s operational control, are collectively responsible for the application of the Policy and are provided with training to ensure they are able to do so. The Policy notes that Woodside is to be guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which demonstrates our commitment to understanding the relevant human rights considerations as we engage with different First Nations communities.

In Australia, we maintain relationships with First Nations communities in the Pilbara, Kimberley, South West and Perth. Due to recent changes to regulatory compliance requirements our approach to consultation has been extended. In 2023, Woodside’s First Nations relations team consulted with a range of First Nations communities in Australia, from Esperance to the Tiwi Islands and as far east as Melbourne. The diversity of the environments we are operating in as a global company has expanded our engagements with a range of community stakeholders in the United States, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and New Zealand.

  1. This section refers to current intentions, plans or stated targets (where applicable). It also outlines information regarding our Management System and relevant processes and procedures. Where we refer to our activities without reference to a previous calendar year or using present tense, the relevant content may be updated from time to time at our discretion but no reliance should be placed by the reader on this page being up-to-date. We also recommend checking our Announcements page regarding our most recent business activities.

Our performance1

In 2023, new relationships were formed and new land use and relationship agreements were executed. Woodside remains committed to close consultation with the relevant persons in the areas in which we operate by way of community and individual meetings, attending community initiated events, and ensuring accessibility for feedback or questions as needed. A key element of our consultation efforts is our willingness to be flexible and adaptable in our consultation format to suit the audience.

  1. This section refers to our performance within a specific time period. Please note that the relevant year, where the activity applies, is stated where appropriate. Where we refer to our activities without reference to a previous calendar year or using present tense, the relevant content may be updated from time to time at our discretion but no reliance should be placed by the reader on this page being up-to-date. We also recommend checking our Announcements page regarding our most recent business activities.

Our continued commitment to reconciliation

Woodside has been part of Reconciliation Australia's Reconciliation Action Plan program since 2009.

Overseen by not-for-profit organisation Reconciliation Australia, Reconciliation Action Plan’s require participants to publicly nominate and report on practical actions they are taking to advance reconciliation.

Woodside was the first oil and gas company to join the program, and we continue to be recognised as a national leader in reconciliation with our fourth plan, the 2021-2025 Reconciliation Action Plan .

Woodside's vision for reconciliation is to partner with Indigenous communities to create positive economic, social and cultural outcomes. It is also to reflect on our shared history, empower Indigenous voices to speak and be heard so all Australians can learn, and work together towards a better, shared future.

We are continuing to move away from recording completed activities, in favour of measuring longer term impact outcomes. Woodside reports annually on progress towards the committed outcomes that support our four Reconciliation Action Plan pillars:

  • respect for culture and heritage
  • capability and capacity
  • economic participation
  • stronger communities

Woodside has achieved its second reporting milestone under the 2021 – 2025 Reconciliation Action Plan with the release of the 2022 Report

In 2023, Woodside made donations to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum activities that were aligned with Our Values, the principles set out within our 2021-2025 Reconciliation Action Plan and our First Nations Communities Policy. Our donations supported organisations to disseminate information and advocate in favour of formalising a pathway for Indigenous Australians to share their views on policies that impact them. Woodside’s contribution aligns with our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which called for the establishment of an Indigenous voice to Parliament, agreement making and truth-telling. For further information, please see the Corporate Governance Statement in the Annual Report 2023.

Related information

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