Strategies for increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff employed at UNE. (Link to the current Employment Statement is already noted herein)

UNE’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2013-2018 is progressing well, with staff numbers ahead of projected targets. UNE is in a similar position to many universities across the country in that we are facing challenges in the recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into academic roles. In recognition of this the Strategy was refocused to concentrate on the attraction and retention of Aboriginal people into both Professional and Academic roles through “growing our own”. A successful example is the creation of an additional academic role (Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Law) in the UNE School of Law to be filled in June 2015.

Employment of suitable Indigenous candidates is seen as a necessity to increase Indigenous cultural safety within the University, and a number of schools and directorates sought to employ more Indigenous staff in various roles in 2014. Flexible approaches have been used to meet longer-term staffing requirements, especially where there is a limited pool of suitable candidates, e.g. for academic positions.

Several UNE schools have aimed to attract Indigenous people to academic positions and have committed to ‘grow our own’ through offering scholarships into Honours and HDR programs. UNE’s School of Arts, for example, sought to create an Indigenous fellowship in creative practices through a part-time professional doctorate or HDR with long-term potential for the candidate to supervise Indigenous study in an academic role. Another school offered an Aboriginal Honours Scholarship in 2014 with the intention of training candidates potentially suitable for employment at a later stage.

The directorate of Human Resource Services has undertaken a number of activities to facilitate more successful Indigenous employment by the University. This includes workshops for Aboriginal community members on UNE recruitment processes and application requirements. Internally, HRS has also created an Indigenous staff career development framework and is working towards using the ATSI work study program to provide an employment opportunity in an administrative role linked to the progression of a Human Resources qualification.