We first ran this program on 01/01/2017

Focus on Career Experience

An 8-month career coaching and development program for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders who work in the Victorian public sector

Applications closed 5pm Wednesday 3 March 2021.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) program changes

We’ll run this program online until further notice, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

If physical distancing measures change during the program, we’ll tell you if this changes how we run it.

We’re looking for Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people:

  • in roles equal to a VPS 3, 4 or 5
  • who have had limited career development opportunities
  • in any type of role across the sector
  • are committed to building their careers

Get in touch if you’re in a role equal to a VPS2 and want to apply, as in some cases you can.

If you’re equal to a VPS 5 or 6, also look at our Barring Djinang Leadership Program.

You need your manager’s support to apply for the program, as you do the program in work hours.

Plan your career development and to take your next step up.

Over 8 months, progress through a career plan tailored to your individual career needs.

Work on your career goals and take part in 1-on-1 and group coaching sessions.

Work with your own career coach to discuss your progress at each session and work out next steps.

You’ll explore as many topics as you like to suit your career development needs.

Build networks across the public sector through group work and practise what you’re learning in the program.

Designed to work alongside your organisation’s professional development, the 8-month program includes:

  • a group welcome event
  • a manager Q&A session
  • a Saville Wave® assessment of your preferred workstyle
  • 5.5 hours of 1-on-1 career coaching
  • 2 half-day group coaching workshops
  • a development plan that’s all about you and your career
  • coaching support to act on your development plan
  • opportunities to network with other Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders

There are 16 places in the program, comprising:

  • 1 place in each of the 9 departments and Victoria Police funded by us, for a total of 10 places
  • 6 places anyone in the public sector can buy at a cost of $4,550 (inc GST) per place.

What’s included

A program place includes:

  • 5.5 hours of individual career coaching
  • 2 half-day group coaching sessions
  • the welcome event
  • a Saville Wave® professional styles profile (workstyle measure)
  • a tailored career development plan
  • Victorian Public Sector Commission staff to run the program

What’s not included

A program place doesn’t include:

  • any professional development activities a participant needs by doing this program
  • any costs to employers to support a participant’s development, such as backfilling a role or secondments
  • travel or accommodation
  • any other costs a participant needs to take part in the program

We run this program in partnership with coaches from People Measures and Burbangana, who give cultural supervision to our coaches.

March 2021: meet your coach

You’ll book a time to meet your coach over Zoom and book in your first 2 coaching sessions.

It’s important you feel a connection with your coach.

If you don’t feel a connection, you can let us know and we’ll see if you can change your coach.

30 March 2021: welcome event

Meet your peers, other coaches and facilitators in a Zoom webinar.


  • learn how the program works
  • get a coaching demonstration
  • break into groups to do your first group coaching session

April 2021: Saville Wave® assessment

After the welcome event, you’ll do a Saville Wave® assessment to understand your workstyle on 4 areas:

  1. thought
  2. influence
  3. adaptability
  4. delivery

There are no right or wrong answers and it’s not a test.

You’ll use this assessment in your 1-on-1 coaching to gain insights for your career discussion.

April 2021 to November 2021: 1-on-1 coaching

You’ll get a total of 5.5 hours of 1-on-1 coaching between you and your coach over 8 months.

Your first session is 1.5 hours and each session after that is 1 hour.

How coaching works

You’ll work with your coach on your career goals and areas you want to focus on in your development plan.

You lead each coaching session to chat with your coach on a topic of your choice.

Your coach won’t train you in a new skill or mentor you. But they’ll help you gain new insights and give you some tasks for your career development.

How we run the sessions

In your first session, you’ll discuss your Saville Wave® assessment and start on your career development plan.

You can choose to come up with a verbal or written plan.

You’ll also agree on a coaching contract. This outlines your coach’s and your responsibilities in your coaching sessions.

In the rest of your sessions, you’ll work with your coach on your career development plan.

20 July 2021: personal brand workshop

You’ll work on:

  • your personal brand
  • how to communicate with impact
  • finding your voice
  • developing your presentation skills
  • understanding the impact of voice

You’ll do some pre-work then join others to discuss in a format we’ll decide when we know more about coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

August 2021 to October 2021: small group catch ups

You’ll meet in small groups three times during the program.

In your small group you will work through a development task. You will then share your reflections with the coaches at the next workshop.

These workshops aren’t facilitated, however we will provide you with suggested talking points.

26 October 2021: thriving through change workshop

You’ll work on skills to thrive through change.

Depending on physical distancing requirements, we’ll hold this on Zoom webinar or in person.

November 2021: final small group catch up

You’ll catch up with your team from your group project and have a yarn about your progress in the program.

You’ll get more from the program if your manager plays an active role.

They need to:

  • set up monthly check-ins about your goals and development plan
  • give you the time to prepare for your 1-one-1 coaching and group sessions
  • give you time to reflect and complete any pre-work
  • let you travel to workshops, if we’re allowed to offer them with changes to physical distancing
  • act as a point of contact for us
  • support you with what you need at the program’s end

What you discuss and write in your coaching sessions is confidential.

We only get reports on how many sessions our provider runs and a status update on if they’re going well or not.

We need at least 48 hours’ notice to cancel or reschedule a coaching session.

If you don’t give us notice, you’ll likely lose the session.

We handle all information in line with:

  • the Data and Privacy Protection Act 2014
  • the Health Records Act 2001
  • other applicable Victorian and Commonwealth legislation

What you discuss and write in your coaching sessions is confidential.

We only get reports on how many sessions our provider runs and a status update on if they’re going well or not.

Our coaches work to a code of ethics.

Read our privacy policy to find out more.

Last updated: 18/05/2020

Since 2017, over 100 people have done the program.

Find out more about the program at Public Service invests in the development of Aboriginal staff.