Beyond attraction and retention: Indigenous career advancement in the public sector

Did you know that the top three industries in which Australian Indigenous people are employed is Public Administration and Safety (18%), Health Care and Social Assistance (15%), and Education and Training (9%). Or that 43% of Australia’s Victorian Indigenous public sector employees would like to advance their careers with the assistance of coaching, and yet only 16% feel that it's an opportunity that is available to them.

Australian and State and Territory Governments have agreed to raise the level of Indigenous employment in the public sector to at least 2.7 per cent to reflect the proportion of Indigenous people in the population. 'Kareeta Yirramboi', the Victorian Aboriginal Public Sector Employment and Career Development Action Plan is strongly focused on establishing the right pathways for Indigenous employees to enter and progress their careers in the public sector. This includes ensuring all Indigenous people can participate in education and training in order to build the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the public sector.

Key findings centred on:

  • What does 'career advancement' mean to Victorian Indigenous Public Sector employees?
  • The overarching barriers and enablers to professional advancement for Indigenous public sector employees in Victoria
  • The contribution of professional development towards professional advancement for Victorian Indigenous Public Sector employees
  • The capacity for Victorian Indigenous Public Sector employees to maximise professional development opportunities in aid of career advancement

This paper will contribute to a stronger understanding of the links between professional development and career advancement for Indigenous people in Victoria, Australia.