Media Release, 10 March 2021

New Darwin based Telstra Contact Centre to manage calls from indigenous communities across Australia

Wednesday 10 March 2021: Telstra today announced the answering of customer enquiries and the reporting of faults from Indigenous communities would be managed by a dedicated specialist team, with the opening of Telstra’s new First Nations Connect contact centre in Darwin today.  

All the employees working in the Centre are from the Northern Territory and are of Indigenous descent, ensuring customers will be talking to people who are culturally aware and potentially be able to respond to some calls in language.                                                             

In opening the new contact centre, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said Telstra received over 25,000 calls every year from indigenous communities relating to connectivity issues, billing or general enquiries about products and services.

“We have faced our challenges in responding to some of these calls and learned from hard lessons that we need to be much better in the way we engage and listen to our indigenous customers,” Mr Penn said.

“Through visits like this one we have met with indigenous leaders and other representatives, heard what these communities need from us, and as part of our response to that we have established this dedicated, Darwin based centre.

“This opening is a really important day for Telstra, an acknowledgement there was a better way to support our indigenous customers and, in the simplest terms, an indication of how much we care and want to get this right.

“Our indigenous customers can now directly call the Darwin contact centre via the Telstra’s First Nations Connect free call hotline on 1800 444 403.”

Customers from Indigenous communities will still be able to call the standard 13 2200 line, and Telstra will use data sources such as mobile base station and fixed line locations, postcodes, and census information to divert incoming calls to the new Darwin centre.

With a focus on customer service, the new contact centre is based in Telstra’s Darwin office in Mitchell St and will operate five days a week between the hours 9 am to 5 pm. Calls made outside this time will be responded to by trained operators located in Australia.

Each year Telstra employees in a dedicated customer service van visit remote and indigenous communities across the Northern Territory as part of a check-in tour, giving customers a chance to talk about any issues they are having and making sure they are on the best plan for them.

“Our new Darwin employees will also have the opportunity to participate in these check-in tours. This will be a win-win where they will be able to learn first-hand about these communities and our customers, as well as providing our customers the chance to deal face-to face with someone from Telstra who is from an Indigenous background,” Mr Penn said. 


Telstra Media contact

Chris Marks- Telstra Public Affairs (SA and NT)

Media reference number: 015/2021