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Information for managers
Did you know that Western Sydney University has set targets for increasing the participation rate and employment outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across all levels of the University?
As a hiring manager you can assist the University in achieving its targets, by working to attract and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
The Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement encourages you to be proactive and to show initiative when looking for and deciding on future employees.
Each and every position or role that becomes available in your Office or Unit is an opportunity to contribute to someone's professional development and change a life for the better.
How you can help
Look for opportunities
There are more opportunities than we often believe exist if we simply look harder, or in different places.
Full-time employment positions may be limited in your area but perhaps there are opportunities for part-time employment or cadetships, internships or traineeships. Perhaps you and your staff could benefit from having a cadet or intern work alongside you during semester breaks.
Think outside the square and you could be benefit your work area, as well as provide a unique opportunity for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to further their career.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is a big pool of talent that we are not tapping into fully.
There are regular positions that are specifically identified for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but there are far more that aren't identified.
There lies the opportunity for all of us to increase their participation. We need to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply for both, rather than believing they are limited to identified positions.
After all, affirmative action doesn't start and stop with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it's a universal attitude that applies to all roles and positions. This may not be something understood or appreciated by all, so we need to make sure everyone feels that if there is a position they are qualified for, and would like to have, they can and should apply for it.
Think and act like an employer of choice
The key to being an employer of choice is to think and act like the employer you would want to have yourself, or wished you'd had when you were starting out.
Everyone, at every level needs to feel valued, appreciated, listened to, supported, mentored and to be treated fairly. A lot of people have never had these in their professional lives, but they should when they are employed here.
Facilitate participation in career development opportunities
To benefit from these programs we need to engage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate in them. Your encouragement of them will go a long way to achieving our aims of giving them a real chance at a better and brighter future.
Become a mentor
None of us who are enjoying a rewarding career, job or learning experience got here on our own. Someone, somewhere, gave us a hand along the way, by encouraging us, supporting us or even pushing us to get to where we are. As a result, we're all now in a position to pass on those personal experiences and wisdom by doing the same for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff member, and believe your knowledge and experiences could be of benefit to their career, please submit our online Become a mentor form.
Work with our Elders on Campus
Our Elders on Campus are an invaluable human and social resource for all of us. They serve as advisors on matters of governance and facilitate engagement with their communities.
They support, guide and mentor the University in successfully engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
They provide us with practical insight into and understanding of their cultural protocols and sensitivities. They share their knowledge, they tell us their stories, they educate us on their histories, they teach us their languages so that we can grow closer through understanding and mutual respect.
Aboriginal history is indivisible from our country's history but many of us know very little about it, which is why it's so important that we learn as much as we can from those who do know it, while we have the opportunity. However, they are few and we are many, so we encourage you to get to know and work with the Elders on your campus to ensure their wealth of knowledge is appreciated by our current generation, and preserved for future generations to come.
At your next event, consider booking a campus Elder to perform the ceremonial Welcome to Country address.
Create a safe and welcoming environment
Whether or not someone chooses to disclose their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity is a very personal decision. However, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may feel inhibited in doing so as they may feel there are negative consequences to disclosure, or they may lack confidence or are unsure of themselves if they do.
You can help by providing a safe and welcoming environment in which everyone feels comfortable and free to express themselves, and to have pride in who they are.
You can also make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comfortable by asking about their culture and history. Show interest and respect for their knowledge and culture (for example, their art) by displaying it. Every step you take toward having a greater, more appreciative understanding of their history is a big step forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.
Celebrate the University as a culturally diverse and inclusive community
There are people from well over a hundred different national groups living in Greater Western Sydney and most of them are represented at the University, which makes us the most culturally diverse university in the country. Given the spirit of acceptance and inclusion enjoyed here, the University stands out as positive, practical example to the whole country.
Each year, the University hosts the Yarramundi Lecture in celebration of NAIDOC Week, to commemorate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. You can show support by attending these celebratory events.