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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Workshop

Photo: Members of the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, with the Diversity Champion and Group Manager, People, Communication and Legal Group, Michelle Cornish and the Director of the Workforce Planning team, Lyn Sharpe.
Photo: Members of the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, with the Diversity Champion and Group Manager, People, Communication and Legal Group, Michelle Cornish and the Director of the Workforce Planning team, Lyn Sharpe.

The department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Workshop was held on 10 and 11 June 2015 in Canberra. Building on the 2014 workshop, Inspire, Aspire and Achieve the theme for the 2015 workshop was ‘Our future depends on what we do today’.

The workshop provided an opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to develop recruitment, retention and career development strategies to help strengthen ties and increase representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the department.

Participants gained valuable insights from a panel of esteemed speakers, including Richard Weston, CEO, The Healing Foundation, Jennifer Goolagong, Director of the Programme and Implementation Taskforce, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Stephanie Hardy, CEO, Indigenous Community Volunteers and Katrina Fanning, General Manager for Strategy, Innovation and People at Aboriginal Hostels.

Staff were captivated by keynote speaker, Generation One CEO Jeremy Donovan, who gave a touching account of his childhood and described his journey to becoming a multi-award winning didgeridoo player and Australian Ambassador. Jeremy concluded his address by playing his award winning piece, Kahlinda.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees also took the opportunity to discuss many important goals around how Indigenous business is everybody’s business can be further embedded into the department’s culture.

The workshop was preceded, on 9 June 2015, by an opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to shadow a member of the SES for a day.

Feedback from participants was very positive. Some of the highlights and take away messages from participants: ‘the bonding experience. It’s so nice to meet up with everyone and talk about something we all have in common’, ‘guest speakers were very inspirational’ and ‘Embrace change, look for the opportunities and recognise you can do whatever you want to’.

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