MATSITI welcomes the launch of the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy.
The Employment Strategy aims to build the representation of Indigenous employees in the Commonwealth public sector and supports the Government’s target of 3 per cent Indigenous representation by 2018.
The Employment Strategy is part of the Commonwealth Government’s initial response to the Forrest Review: Creating Parity, and to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous people and all Australians by 2018 (Closing the Gap).
State and Territory employment in schools
Realising an overall 3% employment target in schools would employ another 5,000 Indigenous teachers and 3000 Indigenous specialist and support staff.
Benefits in cultural knowledge for all students, role models for Indigenous students and employment outcomes would be enormous.
In 2012, 1.3% of all Australian teachers are Indigenous with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students comprising 4.9% of the total school student population.
If all State and Territory governments met similar employment targets to that of the Commonwealth, the disparity in cultural diversity between teachers and students would be significantly reduced.
It can be done – NSW Department of Education has already exceeded the 3% benchmark through the successful Join our Mob strategy to recruit and support Aboriginal people into the Department through connection with communities, study incentives, policy levers and early career support.
The aim of MATSITI over its 4 year program (2011-15) has been to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people entering and remaining in professional teaching positions in Australian schools.