Building Business Capabilities

Strong, sustainable businesses create more employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal Australians. Fortescue works closely with our stakeholders to build capability and skills in businesses owned wholly or partially by Aboriginal people. 

Our Billion Opportunities program commenced in 2011 as an initiative to generate business opportunities for Aboriginal people. It forms a critical element of our approach to ensuring economic opportunity and participation is the key benefit to flow from Native Title agreements. 

Since its inception, the program has awarded 270 contracts and sub-contracts valued at A$2 billion to 110 Aboriginal-owned businesses and joint ventures. The program has a particular focus on Traditional Custodian involvement. 

Stats - Billion Opportunities

Employment Opportunities


Aboriginal Employment (FY18)

14.1 %

Target of 20% by 2020

Fortescue has a proud history of championing Aboriginal employment in its workforce and providing job opportunities to Aboriginal people. 

A range of development and support initiatives are available to assist Aboriginal people in transitioning from education and gaining employment with Fortescue. 

Stats - VTEC

Aboriginal Employment Opportunities

Vocational Training and Employment Centres
Fortescue's Trade Up
Youth education initiatives
Career development and support
Personal and family support

Career Development and Support

Employment Opportunities (1000x438)

Fundamental to the provision of meaningful employment is the ongoing development of our Aboriginal workforce through training and professional development and a workplace culture that understands and champions Aboriginal employment. 

We have a range of programs actively working to build a culture among the entire workforce which is openly supportive.

Career Development and Support

Fortescue’s Trade Up
Leadership and Excellence in Aboriginal People
Personal and Family Support

Addressing Aboriginal Disadvantage

Fortescue's operations provide a unique opportunity to empower Aboriginal people and help bring generational change.

Addressing key challenges facing Aboriginal communities is the foundation of Fortescue’s partnerships with Aboriginal corporations, which has delivered a number of projects that focus on addressing challenges facing Aboriginal communities. 

Big hART

Established 25 years ago, BIGhART is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers social change programs through the arts and media.

The program adopts a strong non-welfare ethos founded on empowering individuals, building self-worth through a focus on individual capacity and creating self-responsibility.

With Fortescue's support, in conjunction with the Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, Big hART is delivering an Aboriginal youth workshop program focussed on family violence prevention, generational change, connection to culture and engagement in education in Roebourne.


Jawun is a program focussed on building the capacity of Indigenous people by placing skilled individuals from Australia’s leading companies and government agencies into Indigenous organisations.

These secondees share their expertise and support Indigenous leaders to achieve development goals for the community.

Fortescue joined the Jawun program in January 2017 and during FY18, five secondees travelled to the East Kimberley region for six-week placements. 

Read about Environmental Advisor Olivia Herstead's Jawun experience >


I remember feeling like I was in the most remote place I had ever been and the realisation of how complex and challenging the Indigenous issues were in remote Australia finally became clear.