This strategy should be read in conjuction with the Commission's plan on workplace diversity and the Commission's Reconciliation Action Plan.
Indigenous Australians are a unique group within our diverse workforce. The culture, history and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders lend themselves to some activities aimed particularly at supporting them.
Indigenous Australian employees will have access to all the benefits of the Commission's Workplace Diversity Plan—'including you'—as well as the measures listed in this strategy.
The Commission's Indigenous Australian employment strategy is also part of our commitment to Reconciliation. Actively supporting Indigenous employment is a positive display of the APSC's commitment.
Further, the APSC wishes to demonstrate its commitment to the Government's 'Closing the Gap' pledge by supporting the increased representation of Indigenous Australians in the APS workforce across all classifications and work areas to reflect the national Indigenous Australian working-age population of at least 2.6% by 2015.
We recognise the role that the Australian Public Service has in setting the standard for other employers; and within that the role the APSC is a role model for the APS. To this end, the Commission will champion the APS Employment and Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees.
What will we keep doing?
- Encourage and supporting Indigenous Australian employees within the Commission to work across the breadth of the Commission
- Secure funding annually in the APSC budget for offering employment or placement opportunities for an Indigenous Graduate, a Cadet and a Trainee. And, where possible, expand the opportunities by accessing additional funds through the Pathways Program (or other means as appropriate)
- Use fair and equitable recruitment processes that focus on assessing ability and are suitable for the role
- Provide an informative and comprehensive induction in relation to the Commission's commitment and access to work-life balance initiatives, including flexible working options and leave for cultural purposes. This will include particular reference to supporting the family and cultural obligations of Indigenous Australians
- Encourage employees to engage with the APS Indigenous Employees' Network
- Encourage participation by all employees in Indigenous cultural activities, and develop the understanding of Indigenous cultures and issues by APS employees, including through participation in the Jawun Project
What will we start doing?
- Publishing our commitment to Indigenous employment in recruitment advertising
- Supporting an APSC Indigenous Employees Network, and invite their input into the design and conduct of activities designed to support Indigenous employees, encourage Indigenous employment and promote cultural awareness
- Provide a structured program of 'buddies' for Indigenous recruits, Graduates, Trainees and Cadets.
- Implement a Work Experience Program specifically for Indigenous college and high school students
- Identify the Indigenous Employment Co-ordinator and Executive Champion via their business cards, e-mail address blocks and signature blocks
- Establish an ongoing funding and actively promote and support participation in activities such as the Jawun Program
- Ensuring that an acknowledgement of the traditional owners opens all meetings and education sessions
- Use a 'Welcome to Country' for significant events
- Provide social, informal gatherings for sharing experiences and stories
- Use Indigenous artwork wherever possible in publications, displays, buildings, etc.
Why are we doing this?
Respect for culture and cultural diversity is a human right.
Diversity in the workplace brings colour and joy and enriches our experiences. Those of us who are not Indigenous can learn much from our colleagues about our country, our history, and our stories.
And, promoting equal opportunity requires the APSC to remove any unnecessary barriers to employment be they real or perceived.
How will we know if we've achieved our aim?
Success will be evaluated against the measures identified in the Commission's Workplace Diversity Plan—'including you'. In summary, as described in that plan:
Including everyone will simply be the way we do business.
- Our culture will be collaborative, courteous, non-judgemental and respectful
- We will have a demographically diverse workforce, which is representative of the broad Australian community, and our employees are confident to declare their status
- We will have evidence that everyone believes that they are treated with dignity and respect, are reasonably having their needs met, and are satisfied in their jobs
- We will have evidence that our workplace is inclusive in both the way in which we work and the services we deliver