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Fact sheet 7: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Get the facts

Workplace diversity makes a major contribution to the capability of the APS and we are looking for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work at all levels.

If you are interested in starting a career in the APS but have limited experience in public administration, or related fields, there are a number of employment pathways to help kick-start your career. These include Indigenous entry level positions, cadetships and graduate positions. Some of these positions are restricted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants under arrangements known as special measures provisions.

Entry level positions, traineeships and apprenticeships are ideal for people with limited experience.

Indigenous cadetships are a great way to get financial assistance to complete your degree while gaining professional experience. The National Indigenous Cadetship Programme (NICP) links Indigenous tertiary students with employers. To find out more visit www.dewr.gov.au.

If you have a degree, or are just about to complete one, the APS Indigenous Graduate Programme may be for you.

You may have also heard of identified positions. These are commonly targeted at Indigenous applicants but anyone can apply. These positions are most suited to people who want to work in Indigenous affairs.

Fact sheet 6 provides general information on entry points into the APS, including traineeships, cadetships and graduate programmes.

In the know…tips and hints

We are working towards improving employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the APS. You can find out more on our Indigenous page.

Find out more

What are special measures provisions?

Special measures provisions are aimed at improving employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are permitted by the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cwlth) and are used to reserve certain positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You may hear these jobs referred to as special measures positions.

What are identified positions?

These are jobs where knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures, as well as the ability to communicate sensitively with Indigenous Australians are required. Generally they will involve the development or delivery of Indigenous specific policies, programmes or services.

Your experiences as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person may assist you to meet the identified criteria used in these positions. You do not have to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to apply for an identified position.

In the know…tips and hints

A lot of APS agencies will have Indigenous employment strategies on their websites. These tell you more about the steps agencies are taking to improve employment outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.


Myth versus reality: Indigenous people have to work in Indigenous specific areas in the APS

We employ people from all different backgrounds and cultures to do a variety of jobs. Indigenous people are encouraged to apply for jobs in all areas of the APS.

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