Minister Calls on Local Government to Strengthen Indigenous Employment

Minister Calls on Local Government to Strengthen Indigenous Employment
Tuesday 26th July at 8:00pm
, Redfern Town Hall, Sydney

On 26-27 July the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) convened a National Roundtable on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment in Local Government at the Redfern Town Hall, Sydney. Minister Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, delivered a passionate keynote address in which he urged Local Government representatives to employ more Indigenous people.

On 26-27 July the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) convened a National Roundtable on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment in Local Government at the Redfern Town Hall, Sydney. Minister Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, delivered a passionate keynote address in which he urged Local Government representatives to employ more Indigenous people.

"This roundtable … is a great way to share ideas and plan partnerships to increase recruitment and retention of Indigenous workers. [ACELG] has identified that local government is facing a crisis in long-term workforce planning due to an ageing workforce and the drain of skills from the regions which has been compounded by demand from the mining boom.

“The solution is right in front of us – investment in local Indigenous communities and individuals who can provide those skills in the long term.

“There is … a raft of programs available to assist local governments in employing and retaining Iocal Indigenous job seekers, as part of the Government’s goal of creating more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”

 

Aunty Millie Ingram, giving the Welcome to Country. LGMA Chief Executive John Ravlic leading a workshop.

 

The roundtable brought together around 50 key representatives from local government jurisdictions, federal and state government, Indigenous employment, and related agencies. Delegates heard leading practice models of Indigenous employment and Indigenous employment brokering in councils such as the LGPro award-winning Indigenous Employment Program in Latrobe City Council in Victoria, run by Indigenous Employment Development Coordinator Joanne Brunt. Since 2003 over 300 Indigenous people have been employed, with an 85-90% retention rate. 

The State Library of Queensland`s Indigenous Knowledge Centres, which operate in partnership with councils, provided an inspiring model for language, knowledge and capacity building in Indigenous communities. Roundtable presentations will be available for download on the ACELG website shortly.

The event was an important part of a parallel process of engagement to progress the National Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy.  The second day of the forum was dedicated to discussion and development of sustainable and replicable Demonstration Projects with a view to identifying and potentially engaging key project partners and possible funding agencies.

Outcomes from the roundtable and responses to the  LG Indigenous Employment Program Green Paper – Closing the Gap through Place-based Employment will also  inform the development of a White Paper, with the interim White Paper due for completion at the end of 2011.  Catering was provided by Yaama Dhiyaan, Australia’s first and only hospitality college specialising in Indigenous culture and cuisine, an enterprise initiated by Aboriginal elder Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo.

Roundtable agenda and downloadable presentations can be accessed here, as well as the roundtable outcomes document once published.

The Redfern Town Hall, the venue of the National Roundtable on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment in Local Government.

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