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Pathways success stories, continued

Kerrie Tim joins the Australian Public Service Commission

(photo – Kerrie Tim)

The Australian Public Service Commission has welcomed a familiar face with Kerrie Tim joining as Special Advisor Indigenous Engagement following a period working as a Senior Executive with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

A graduate of the University of Queensland, Kerrie’s extensive experience in the public sector includes the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services and its predecessor, ATSIC, the Australian Public Service Commission, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Departments of Education and Aboriginal Affairs. Kerrie is a former Executive Director to the Queensland Government, having worked within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and before that the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy.

Kerrie is actively committed to social justice and for the past twenty years has also focused her efforts towards helping people from all backgrounds to build better lives for themselves and to act successfully against injustice.

Kerrie’s international experience includes representing Australian governments in discussions in the Philippines, United States and Canada and leading peer counselling workshops on ending racism in South Africa, Israel, and New Zealand.

Kerrie is a member of the Australian Government’s National Anti-Racism Partnership, the Australian Public Service Indigenous Governance Network and Indigenous Advisory Group to Canberra Centenary.

Meet the APSC Indigenous Liaison Officer - Rhonda Woodward

(photo – Rhonda Woodward)

Many of you would have noticed that there is a new face in the APSC’s Indigenous Liaison Officer position. After several years in the role, Gerrit Wanganeen has handed over to current Indigenous Career Trek facilitator, Rhonda Woodward.

As the Indigenous Liaison Officer, it is Rhonda’s job to provide advice to agencies on aspects of Indigenous employment, particularly around their development of Indigenous Employment strategies and provide assistance and guidance to Indigenous employees.

Rhonda, a Kamilaroi woman from the Gunnedah area in north/west New South Wales, first came to the Public Service in 2006 after working in the community sector in a specialised trauma area and decided that she needed to change focus to something a little less intense.

‘I developed a lot of public service skills and knowledge during that time and again sought a change of focus and successfully applied for the Career Trek position at the APSC. During my time at the APSC my role has extended to include the Indigenous Liaison Officer role.’

Whilst reflecting on her APS career, Rhonda says ‘I have enjoyed all aspects of my career but in particular travelling around Australia delivering the Career Trek program has certainly been a highlight. I have visited some great places and met lots of wonderful people.’

Out of all of the highlights from her travels with Indigenous Career Trek Rhonda names her trip to Thursday Island as an amazing adventure.

‘I wasn’t aware of the isolation until I arrived, which you can only do by ferry after arriving by plane at Horn Island. When I arrived I discovered that my mobile phone didn’t work and I felt like my right arm had been cut off, funny how we become so used to using our mobiles, I felt like I had no contact with the outside world! But overall it was an enjoyable experience and a beautiful place to visit.’

When asked if she has any words of wisdom or career advice for her fellow Indigenous Public Servants, Rhonda has this to offer: ‘the current Indigenous Career Trek is focussing on career management and through delivering this course, I have discovered a lot about myself and my own career journey. I think some of the main things to always be aware of is what you want to get out of your career. Don’t waste time and energy working in a job where you aren’t happy or there is no job satisfaction. Invest time in finding an area that you would like to work in and make it happen.’

For advice in regards to the Indigenous Employment within the APS, contact IndigenousLiaisonOfficer [at] apsc.gov.au ().

10th Annual NAIDOC APS Touch Football Carnival 2012

(photo – Department of Immigration and Citizenship Touch Football Team)

NAIDOC Week is fast approaching, meaning it’s almost time to celebrate our great Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and prepare for the 10th annual APS NAIDOC Touch Football Carnival.

Last year’s event had a record of 24 teams competing, with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship claiming victory (5-4) in a thrilling finale against participating Indigenous community organisation, Winnunga Nimmityjah.

This year’s event is again bought to you by the Australian Public Service Commission, in partnership with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Touch Football ACT. The carnival is scheduled for Wednesday 4th July at the Deakin Touch Football Fields with a 9am start time.

Places are limited, so if you are interested in organising a team, contact Cris Castro at cris.castro [at] deewr.gov.au before 22 June 2012.

DFAT Goes to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

(photo – DFAT)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provided a unique development opportunity to two of their Indigenous Australian employees, Nick Williams and Lara Hope, to attend the United Nation Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in May 2012.

An initiative of DFAT’s Indigenous Employee Network (IEN), the proposal represents a significant developmental opportunity for the selected Indigenous employees to develop skills and experience by attending one of the highest level multilateral forums on Indigenous Issues.

The proposal to support the attendance of two Indigenous employees at the UNPFII demonstrate DFAT’s commitment in creating opportunities for career development and progression opportunities for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their commitment to meeting the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap Indigenous employment targets.

The DFAT selection panel noted the quality of all nominees written applications for this development opportunity, which was available to all Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander employees in DFAT currently in Australia.

The DFAT Indigenous Employee Network can be contacted at: IEN [at] dfat.gov.au