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Albanese Government set to double the amount Indigenous leadership roles in the public service

Brendan Foster -

The Albanese Government is planning a recruitment drive to almost double the number of First Nations people in senior leadership roles across the Australian Public Service.

On Monday, the government announced a new initiative called the SES 100 – co-sponsored by National Indigenous Australians Agency - it aims to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation across the service from 54-100.

Some of the senior positions include a range of non-specialised roles such as policy development and implementation, program and project management, strategic communication, corporate policy, compliance and enforcement programs, service delivery, and corporate operations.

First Nations woman Lil Gordon joined the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts in a senior role to bring the voice of Indigenous people and communities to the forefront.

"I wanted to ensure that the interests and aspirations of First Nations people are heard and that we work in genuine partnership to bring solutions with the First Nations community," she said.

"I bring the very essence of who I am every day and contribute visibly and purposefully, proudly talking about my experiences and ensuring we move towards a culturally safe and welcoming work environment."

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, encouraged First Nations people to apply for the senior roles.

"This initiative is about boosting the number of Indigenous Australians in the senior ranks of the Australian Public Service (APS)," she said.

"Creating a more inclusive public sector that better reflects our country is a priority for the Albanese government."

Minister for the Public Service, Senator Katy Gallagher, said the recruitment drive wasn't just about increasing numbers, it was about harnessing the skills and perspectives First Nations senior leaders bring to the APS.

"We know to deliver better outcomes for First Nations people, the government must involve them in its decision-making process," she said.

"And to play a role in decision-making, they must be represented at senior levels."

As of the 30th of June, there were just over 6,000 First Nations employees in the APS, an increase of just 49 employees from the previous year.

This translates into about three-and-a-half per cent of the APS employees.

The Albanese Government has set a target to increase First Nations employment in the service to 5 per cent by 2030.

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