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Indigenous Programs

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Department of Defence


Indigenous Australians

Key objective: Increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in Defence. For more information on Defence Indigenous programs and initiatives visit: http://www.defence.gov.au/diversity/indigenous/1

Background:

Defence acknowledges the service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have contributed to defending 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.

The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-2018 reflects Defence’s enduring commitment towards reconciliation, and the Whole of Government Closing the Gap strategy. Defence’s contribution to the Closing the Gap strategy is primarily through the provision of employment opportunities to improve the socio-economic outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Defence has a target of 2.7 per cent Indigenous representation by 31 December 2018. Over the past three years Defence has focused efforts on increasing Indigenous representation through entry level recruitment.

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.

Themes

Attract

  • Contribute to the whole of Government Closing the Gap strategy and reconciliation plans 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.

Recruit

  • 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.

Develop

  • 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 people.
  • 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.

Retain

  • Enable flexible work practices 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 people.

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