The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development supports the closing the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage objectives of the Victorian whole of government Aboriginal policy, the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018 (VAAF).
The Department recognises that education and employment is a key part of the foundation to improving the economic well-being of Aboriginal people and closing the gap in outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians. The Department also recognises that having a vibrant and growing Aboriginal workforce is a key part of achieving its vision that ‘every young Victorian thrives, learns and grows to enjoy a productive, rewarding and fulfilling life, while contributing to their local and global communities’.
This recognition is manifested in the
DEECD CORE Value: Respect and Diversity, and the Department’s evolving diversity strategy. The diversity strategy is built on the principles of equal opportunity and human rights. This means the Department:
- strives for a diverse workforce that reflects Victoria’s communities, including Victoria’s Aboriginal community
- values and respects individual differences, including the diversity of Aboriginal people and the richness of Aboriginal culture, customs and history
- acknowledges the traditional owners of the lands on which the Department is located across Victoria
- works in a collaborative way, including partnering with Aboriginal people, in particular its employees and Aboriginal communities so that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can work to improve Aboriginal outcomes.
To achieve this, the Department aligns its corporate plan and diversity and equity policies to:
- provide governance and leadership to ensure Aboriginal inclusion, reconciliation and employment
- deliver services that are sensitive to the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people
- be an employer of choice and ensure that the culture of the organisation and mainstream jobs are attractive to aboriginal people
- sustain initiatives to increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal employees, broaden career opportunities, including through professional development and mentoring
- build and maintain cultural safety and support for Aboriginal employees
- offer Aboriginal cultural awareness training to employees
- consult with the workforce, in particular the Aboriginal workforce, communities and stakeholders.
Aboriginal Inclusion Action Plan
Wirnalung Ganai: Our People – Aboriginal Inclusion Action Plan 2012-2014 aims to provide an inclusive system of early childhood service, school education and associated services, vocational education and training, and higher education.
The plan is part of the Government’s Victorian Aboriginal Inclusion Framework, which identifies five areas as fundamental to the development and integration of inclusive policy, processes and practices for Aboriginal people:
leadership and governance
- policy development
- workplace organisation development and change
- programs and services
One component of the Aboriginal Inclusion Action Plan is the celebration of Aboriginal significant days. Each year the Department recognises and celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal people by observing Reconciliation Week and National and Aboriginal Islander Day of Celebration (NAIDOC) Week. All Department employees are encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate these days by organising and participating in local reconciliation and recognition events.
Karreeta Yirramboi: the Victorian Aboriginal Public Sector Employment and Career Development Action Plan 2010-15 was developed in partnership with the Aboriginal community. Karreeta Yirramboi details actions to increase Aboriginal participation in the Victorian public sector workforce and work towards a 1% Aboriginal employment target. Five action areas to achieve this goal were identified for all departments to work towards:
- Building pathways between education and public sector employment
- Making the public sector an employer of choice for Aboriginal people
- Creating inclusive workplaces
- Supporting employers to recruit and retain Aboriginal employees and
- Driving change.
The Department has embraced these goals and in partnership with its Aboriginal workforce and stakeholders, is building an Aboriginal employment plan, which includes current and new strategies to increase employment and career development opportunities for Aboriginal people.
The Department is a large Victorian employer with over 65,000 employees. Employees work in a range of roles in schools, regional and central offices. Employment opportunities are available in the areas of teaching, education support, student welfare, educational, administration and leadership as well as specialist and technical positions.
The outcomes of Karreeta Yirramboi and its underlying strategies are monitored at a department and whole-of-government level. For more information on Karreeta Yirramboi, see Victorian Government Careers: Karreeta Yirramboi below.
A New Aboriginal Affairs Framework
The Department's policies are aligned with the strengthened Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013 - 2018 (VAAF)which was developed by the Victorian Government to bring together Government and Aboriginal community commitments and efforts and create a better future for Victoria’s Aboriginal population.
Significantly the VAAF recognises and values Aboriginal culture, integrates government effort, identifies the accountabilities of Government departments, agencies and funded service providers. This will enable more effective monitoring and evaluation of performance.
The VAAF focuses effort and resources on six Strategic Action Areas that are central to closing the gap in Aboriginal disadvantage. Through the VAAF the Government is committing to 12 headline indicators with achievable targets.
The VAAF is available at the below link:
Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013 - 2018 (http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/victorian-aboriginal-affairs-framework)
For more information see the Department of Premier and Cabinet link under Addtional Information.
Koorie Teaching Scholarships
Teaching today is a challenging and rewarding career. There are scholarships and employment opportunities in Victorian government schools for Aboriginal people.
Koorie Teaching Scholarships assist Aboriginal people wishing to pursue a career in teaching. Teaching scholarships are open to:
- Aboriginal Year 12 students who have completed their studies and are about to undertake an approved 4 year teacher education course
- Aboriginal people currently enrolled in an approved pre-service education course, and
- Aboriginal adults looking to become a teacher
Youth Employment Scheme
Each year, the Employment Start Up - Youth Employment Scheme provides opportunities for young Aboriginal people aged 15-24 who face barriers to employment to gain qualifications and practical experience that will lead to sustainable employment.
The Department supports this program by providing trainees with valuable work experience that will support future employment opportunities.
Koorie Education Workforce
The Department has a Koorie Education Workforce focussed on delivery of Koorie education and early childhood development.
There are two roles in the Koorie Education Workforce:
- Koorie Education Coordinator (KEC)
- Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO)
The Department also has a Koorie Transition Officer in each region whose role is to support multiple learning pathways, career development and mentoring of Indigenous young people. This is focused on linking students, training organisations and workplaces.
Aboriginal Workforce Data
The Department monitors Aboriginal employment representation within the workforce. Data is aggregated from employees self-identifying as Aboriginal.