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​Aiming higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

Image from left: Andrew Cappie-Wood, Nardu Welsh and Deputy Premier Troy Grant.

At only nineteen, Nardu Welsh, has successfully completed a Certificate II in business and has been employed at a local court for almost two years. Nardu, who is determined to pursue a career in law, has developed experience, knowledge and, most importantly, confidence, which she credits to the opportunities she's received through the traineeship offered by the Department of Justice NSW.

Nardu's story is one that the Department hopes to replicate through the launch of the Department of Justice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy. Special guest, Deputy Premier Troy Grant officially announced the launch of the strategy with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Andrew Cappie-Wood, on Thursday, 10 September at The Australian Museum, Sydney.

This strategy identifies practical ways in which the Department can attract, retain and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. The Deputy Premier made specific mention of finding jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the key to improving well-being, living standards for themselves and their communities. During his speech, the Deputy Premier shared his own experiences as a police officer and described a program that is close to his heart – the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery program (IPROWD) program. This program, which is still thriving, was designed to give young Aboriginal people the skills and knowledge necessary to apply for a place at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn and is a first step to becoming a Police Officer.

As part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy the IPROWD program will be expanded to provide opportunities to young Aboriginal people to also apply for roles within the Department of Justice.

Programs such as IPROWD and partnerships with service providers are vital to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation.  Some of our service providers were also present at the launch including Souths Cares, NSW Department of Education Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program, TAFE NSW, Yarn'n Aboriginal Employment and Training New careers For Aboriginal People and Way ahead for Aboriginal People.

The Secretary announced a new target of six per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation within the Department of Justice by the end of 2017.

View photo slideshow of the event: