Project lead: NSW Department of Education
Project funding: $49,450 Round 3 2013
2014 was the first year that the Department of Education’s careers forums targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by taking the forums to locations with schools with significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments. Focusing on students in years 8-12, locations included Dubbo, Nowra/Moruya, Tamworth, Redfern and Mount Druitt. These locations leverage the advantages of significant numbers of permanent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and leaders and strong relationships with universities.
The careers forums had a high level of involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at every stage. More than 800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and community members, and 80 service providers, attended.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers, leaders, teacher education students and community members shared their journeys with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students in order to promote teaching as a career.
The careers forums were promoted through Koori Radio and other media, including social media which played a vital role in attracting significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from rural and remote schools. A working party of partners including the AECG was established to plan, promote and deliver the forums.
The Department’s promotional strategies are effective through being one of a suite of initiatives to attract and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff including teachers, and through a highly visible commitment to the employment, retention and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff at the highest levels of the organisation. These initiatives include:
- implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Resource Development Plan which complements the Department’s other key planning documents
- establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Career Initiatives team with five identified positions driving change and innovation
- provision of 80 teacher education scholarships annually for Aboriginal people
- teach.nsw Join Our Mob campaign.
At 3.2%, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the Department exceeds the NSW government target of 2.6%. In March 2016, there are 1,165 (2.5%) identified permanent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and leaders in NSW public schools.
teach.nsw website: https://www.teach.nsw.edu.au/
Aboriginal people: https://teach.nsw.edu.au/becomeateacher/aboriginal-people
Scholarships for Aboriginal people: https://teach.nsw.edu.au/getpaidtostudy/teacher-education-scholarship-aboriginal
MATSITI evaluation conclusions
The careers forums were an important avenue for promoting the Department’s scholarship program, which provides successful applicants with $5,000 per year of full time study, a $3,000 appointment allowance and a permanent teaching position on successful completion of their teaching qualification. More than 90 applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were received for the 2014 program.
The teach.nsw website is a highly visible, effectively branded initiative. Programs to promote teaching, including those which target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are embedded in the Department’s human resources function and structure. The teach.nsw team has been active in sharing its initiatives and providing a range of support to jurisdictions throughout Australia as part of the MATSITI community.
Project contact: Veronica Willmott, Senior Manager, People and Careers at NSW Department of Education and Communities