Key objective: Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in Defence.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women have long contributed to the defence of Australia and its national interests during times of peace and war. For over a century, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have provided, and continue to provide, a vital contribution to Defence capability.
Defence contributes to the whole-of-Government Closing the Gap strategy through its Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2022, reflecting Defence’s enduring commitment towards Reconciliation.Defence contributes to Closing the Gap primarily through the provision of Indigenous employment pathways and procurement to improve the socio-economic outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Defence has set ambitious Indigenous representation targets of 3.0 per cent for the Defence Australian Public Service workforce by 2022, and 5.0 per cent for the Australian Defence Force by 2025. Defence will continue to prioritise Indigenous employment opportunities through targeted cadetships, traineeships and graduate placements along with specific legislative Indigenous Affirmative Measures recruitment activities. We are always looking to proactively find new and innovate ways of enhancing our employee value proposition to Indigenous Australians. This includes a collaborative partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on an Indigenous Attraction, Recruitment and Retention Project.
In addition to a diverse range of employment opportunities, Defence currently offers support programs and further education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel. The following specific actions aim to integrate these initiatives into broader strategies to realise Defence’s commitment to being truly representative of the nation we serve.
- Contribute to the whole of Government Closing the Gap strategy and the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan and actions.
- Build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Recognise and publicly acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continued connection to Country.
- Promote Defence as an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Increase cultural awareness in Defence.
- Implement and enhance Defence’s Indigenous employment pathways and initiatives.
- Increase the profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in both targeted and general recruitment marketing and public affairs.
- Recognise and accommodate the cultural needs, responsibilities and roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel.
- Mentor and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel and networks.
- Implement and promote programs to support the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
- Ensure that Defence provides a flexible and supportive approach to workforce conditions, career management and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and participate in community assistance and cultural immersion programs.
- Enable flexible work practices and policies to accommodate the cultural needs, responsibilities, and roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel.
- Increase the knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture across Defence.
- Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage is incorporated into appropriate Defence policies and practices.
- Provide appropriate targeted development, leadership and career management opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.