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Monash University’s Indigenous employment record recognised with Cygnet Award

Callan Morse -

Melbourne's Monash University has been recognised for its work in reducing barriers to Indigenous employment.

It comes as the institution received its second Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Cygnet Award for actions including appointing Indigenous staff in leadership positions to drive strategies for the recruitment of Indigenous people.

The award also acknowledged Monash's introduction of more diverse employment pathways including its Indigenous Graduate Program.

Proud Wiradjuri woman Andrea Lund joined Monash University solely to recruit Indigenous talent.

Ms Lund, whose father was a survivor of the Stolen Generations, said she never expected to find a role solely dedicated to Indigenous recruitment.

"I've found my calling. My sister was an Elder in the community. She passed away last year and I'm trying to pick up the trail she made," she said.

Ms Lund works directly with Indigenous peoples who express their interest in joining Monash.

She said while there were so many different experiences of Indigeneity, her background helped her to connect with other Indigenous people.

"There have been times where a person was not the right fit for the advertised position, but we have worked with them to identify the right role for them at the University," Ms Lund said.

SAGE CEO, Dr Janin Bredehoeft, said the award recognises Monash University's leadership in Indigenous recruitment in the higher education sector.

"At SAGE we're very pleased to see a growing trend among universities putting time and resources into improving equity for Indigenous staff. It's a challenging and complex task," Dr Bredehoeft said.

"Monash has stepped up to that challenge and taken innovative steps to offer Indigenous candidates roles that fit their specific strengths, skills and career aspirations.

"This is a new recruitment approach and it makes more space for Indigenous staff to thrive in the workplace."

Monash University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Susan Elliott, said Monash has undertaken a transformative change in its Indigenous recruitment strategy.

"The policy changes we've made across Monash in recent years are having a real impact on our ability to attract, support and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff," Professor Elliott said.

"We have a long way to go, but with continued strong leadership from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff we'll continue to improve."

SAGE's Cygnet Awards recognise organisations that demonstrate impact in addressing specific barriers to gender equity, diversity and inclusion.

The award is Monash University's second Cygnet, after the institution became the first Group of Eight university to earn a Cygnet award in September last year for work over five years to enhance equity in academic promotions.

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