The Aboriginal Pathway is the entry point for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates wishing to apply for the Graduate Recruitment and Development Scheme (GRADS).

The Aboriginal Pathway uses the same guiding principles and practices and operates simultaneously with all key application stages of GRADS.

The hallmarks of the Aboriginal Pathway are cultural sensitivity, pastoral care and strong networking. Graduates entering the VPS via the GRADS and the Aboriginal Pathway are recruited to an ongoing role in the Victorian Public Service (VPS).

The Aboriginal Pathway is part of the Victorian Government’s broader agenda on Aboriginal affairs. This includes a commitment to increase workforce participation by Aboriginal people in the public service.

Learning and Development

In addition to the standard learning and development provided fro all GRADS participants, Pathway graduates also participate in some Indigenous specific initiatives. Workshops to strengthen cultural identity and develop future career plans are typical examples. All Pathway graduates attend cultural awareness training along with their GRADS peers.


As with all other graduates, Aboriginal Pathway graduates commence working in their ‘home’ public service organisation, followed by two rotations, usually to different organisations. Each placement is approximately four months in duration. At the end of the 12 month GRADS timeline, graduates return back to their home organisation to an ongoing role.

Mentoring and Networking

As well as having an Executive Mentor, Aboriginal Pathway graduates are offered the opportunity to have an Aboriginal mentor. This arrangement is provided through an external body, the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA). It is free of charge and starts early in the GRADS year.

Networking is an important ongoing feature of the Aboriginal Pathway. Monthly social events are held, as well as other ad-hoc gatherings. More formal conversations take place quarterly with the Aboriginal Pathway Manager.

The Aboriginal graduates have established an Aboriginal Graduate Alumni which is strong and inclusive and welcomes all new Aboriginal graduates.

Pastoral Care and Professional Support

Pastoral care and professional support are core features of the Aboriginal Pathway. The Pathway Manager remains in contact with the graduates throughout the year and beyond. The main purpose of the role of the Pathway Manager is to act as a support to Aboriginal graduates.

The Pathway graduates, current and past, also offer a huge support base. All Pathway graduates are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and Alumni events.

Further reading