Rod Williams, Managing Director of Gongan Consultancy, is an Indigenous business advisor who helps private enterprise, Indigenous communities and organisations work together, by providing advice and specialist services that help bridge the cultural divide.
“When I first considered opening up my own business I went to my elders and asked for a name, and they gave me the name Gongan, which is a Bundjalung name, it means very special, very beautiful.”
Rod has more than 20 years’ experience helping business, government and Indigenous organisations, groups and communities understand and overcome the cultural and communication differences that come into play when working and building business together.
He is a Bundjalung man who has pursued a private sector career that extends across industrial relations, financial, mining industries and small business development at both the national and international levels. He has a Bachelor of Business from the Elton Mayo School of Management, University of South Australia.
Gongan framework models
Rod Williams has developed three framework models that he uses to help culturally diverse organisations understand each other’s perspective in negotiations and consultation.
“When watching business talks between business, government and Aboriginal community representatives, I observed that:
- Business – spoke of profits and industry standards;
- Government – spoke of programs and measurable outcomes;
- Aboriginal community – spoke of a holistic approach taking culture, social justice, environmental protection and business development.
The three groups often present their directions in a language that usually leads to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. The Gongan framework models were developed to give the parties a common language and framework to work through at the consultation and negotiation stages.”