Our goals and journey

Main content area

What do we want to achieve?

We want to achieve tangible actions that reflect our:

  • development of policy and delivery of projects with a cultural lens
  • joint effort to ensure the whole of portfolio participation
  • valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures
  • Aboriginal and Torress Strait Islander staff - more employees, at higher levels and better staff progress and training

Our reconciliation journey

Our reconciliation journey; this graphic highlights the major steps taken together on our reconciliation journey between 2008 and 2019.


  • 2008 – 1st Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launched
  • 2014 – Indigenous Employee Network (IEN) launched
  • 2016 – Traineeship commenced
  • 2016 – Indigenous mentoring program piloted
  • 2016 – Indigenous Development Award launched
  • 2017 – Inclusions Strategy launched
  • 2017 – Sponsorship of the ACT NAIDOC Awards
  • 2018 – Indigenous Development Pathways program piloted
  • 2018 – Cultural and inclusion review
  • 2018 – Sponsorship of the ACT NAIDOC Awards
  • 2019 – Introduction of policy framework for indigenous participation
  • 2019 – Sponsorship of the ACT NAIDOC Awards

Yarns from our journey

Indigenous Employee Network

The department’s Indigenous Employee Network (IEN) was first established in 2014 with a handful of proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. At its inception the IEN fostered a support network for members to form relationships through support, guidance, mentoring and connection.

Today, with 37 Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander employees in the department the IEN is a strong network providing high level policy and program advice through a cultural lens to help support the outcomes of the department’s reconciliation agenda.

Indigenous Traineeship Program

The department’s Indigenous Traineeship Program was first trialled in 2015, with seven state based trainees undertaking a twelve month traineeship, including completing a Certificate III in Government.

The traineeship was run for three years in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and saw 24 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people join the department over the three years. Today, 13 of the former trainees are still employed with the department in a range of roles across administrative, program, policy and corporate functions.

Lessons learnt over the last three years

Engagement is key to effectiveness

We need to engage regularly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure they can access and benefit from our programs, initiatives and policies.

Targets need to be followed by concrete actions

We need to develop and support career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Leadership as the driver

It is critical that middle management and supervisors are involved and committed to improving our policies, programs and employment initiatives.

Early and often consultation

Consultation is critical to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can make informed decisions, it can’t be an afterthought.

Cultural competency is key

To support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and businesses, we must understand the issues.