Lendlease: Empowering Communities Through Authentic Engagement - ISCouncil

Lendlease: Empowering Communities Through Authentic Engagement

Tuesday, 8 October 2019


To register for the Southern Program Alliance Site Tour, click here.

At Lendlease, we are proud of how we build assets that reflect community input.

We strive to leave positive impacts, from great environmental outcomes to important social legacies.

The Level Crossing Removal Project’s (LXRP) Southern Program Alliance (SPA), consisting of Lendlease, Acciona Coleman Rail, WSP, Metro Trains Melbourne and LXRP is an excellent example of what can be achieved when construction companies include key stakeholders in the design process.

The Traditional Owners of the land on which we are delivering level crossing removal projects along the Frankston train line have strong cultural connections to the sites. With Bunurong Land Council, Boon Wurrung Foundation and Wurundjeri Land Council, SPA developed an Aboriginal Cultural Competency Framework to demonstrate its commitment to authentic and meaningful engagement with the Aboriginal community.

This framework helped drive opportunities to leave legacies that resonate with the community. The framework was endorsed by the Alliance Leadership Team with the Alliance Principal, Aboriginal Affairs Allan Murray acting as a key champion.


During the design phase of the Carrum and Seaford project, Allan Murray facilitated workshops with Traditional Owners, artists, community leaders, WSP’s Aboriginal architect and SPA architects COX, to discuss what Aboriginal features could be incorporated into the design. Concept plans were developed that focused on the traditional values of the land and the embedding of the Aboriginal Cultural Design principals.

A SPA Cultural Competence Continuum (CCC) was engaged to ensure that Aboriginal cultural values are successfully embedded, and legacies created. This CCC assists SPA to embed values, not only from design but also from a behavioral perspective. This way, Aboriginal design principals and opportunities become business as usual rather than an afterthought. SPA is also working towards a SPA Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), with champions identified from across the team.

Implementation of the framework, CCC, and RAP have resulted in many design outcomes that will  result in meaningful representation of Aboriginal cultural values. A few of these opportunities include:

  • Construction of a yarning circle and urban marker at Patterson River, Carrum
  • Aboriginal mural art at Seaford Road, Seaford
  • Renaming of the Patterson River bridge as the Karrum Karrum Bridge
  • Integration of Aboriginal ceremony throughout the project lifecycle.

While all design outcomes are meaningful, the construction of the urban marker and yarning circle urban marker is particularly significant. The yarning circle is a traditional space that is used to pass on cultural practices and values, while the marker is embedded with diamond patterns, a symbol of unity for the Bunurong people. The marker has an aluminum frame and features wedge-tailed eagle designs, a recognition of Bunjil, believed by the Bunurong people, to be the spiritual creator of the bay.

These features are leaving a significant legacy through which Traditional Owners can tell their forever story and share their culture with the wider community.

At the official opening of the Karrum Karrum space during NAIDOC Week in July 2019, Bunurong Land Council’s Uncle Shane said, “I think it’s fitting to be able to come together in NAIDOC Week. This is about people coming together and celebrating our culture, our history, and the achievement of our people. Coming together, black and white, hand in hand, going forward together”.

Please join us on a site tour on 15 October as part of the 2019 ISCA Conference to see what the project has been able to achieve in just a few short months.

You can also purchase your #ISCACONNECT Conference and Awards tickets, right here! 

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