We first ran this program on 01/08/2018

Focus on Career Experience

A program to build skills and support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees to take on leadership roles.

Applications closed 5pm AEDT Friday 4 June 2021

Who can apply

The program is open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders staff in:

  • the Victorian public sector
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
  • Traditional Owner groups

We’re looking for people:

  • in senior non-executive roles · who have an excellent work history
  • with experience working in roles with high levels of responsibility
  • with a strong commitment to their own personal and professional development
  • who display potential to move into formal leadership positions in the short to medium term

Support from your manager

The program runs during work hours so you’ll need approval from your manager.

When you apply, you’ll be asked to upload a signed statement from your manager explaining what they think you’ll get out of the program and why you’d be perfect for it.

It must also include the text below:

As [applicant’s name]’s manager, I:

  • understand how the program works, the elements, costs and timelines
  • support their development in the program
  • approve their attendance during work hours for the welcome event, 8 to 10 hours of coaching and the 3-day leadership residential
  • will contact the Victorian Public Sector Commission if I have any questions about the program

How the program works

We coordinate the program and support participants, employers and organisations throughout.

May 2021

  • Applications open
  • To apply, complete the application form with approval from your manager

June 2021

  • Program spots awarded by Friday 11 June 2021
  • Attend a welcome event
  • Begin your coaching sessions

September 2021

  • Attend the 3-day leadership residential

December 2021

  • Finish in the program

Program elements

The program is made up of 3 elements:

Leadership Coaching

You’ll get

  • a 1-on-1 session with your coach
  • 4 group sessions
  • another 1-on-1 at the end of the program to reflect on your progress

Tailored leadership development plan

You and your coach will make a leadership development plan tailored for you.

We prioritise on-the-job learning and offer:

  • network-based learning
  • formal training, and
  • network building

Leadership residential

In September 2021, you’ll attend a 3-day leadership residential with learning and development, coaching and mentoring activities.

You’ll have the opportunity to connect and share your experiences in a group context and learn from high-profile Aboriginal leaders and your peers in a culturally safe environment.

We normally book the residential in a location an hour outside of Melbourne. More details will be provided to participants.

COVID 19 Updates

We plan to run the 2021 program events in person. However, this is subject to change, and we will be guided by the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer. We will let you know as soon as we can if we need to run any sessions remotely.

Program costs

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations or Traditional Owner Groups

We’ll cover the cost of:

  • the program
  • coaching
  • travel, accommodation and meals for the 3-day leadership residential (not including incidental expenses such as in-room snacks)
  • travel and accommodation as required throughout the program

Costs for Victorian government departments and public sector organisations

We’ll cover the cost of:

  • the program
  • coaching
  • accommodation and meals for the 3-day leadership residential (not including incidental expenses such as in-room snacks)

At our discretion, we may be able to help small public sector organisations with some costs. Get in touch if you want to discuss your situation.

Any other costs that arise outside the program will need to be covered by the participant.

Last updated: 06/05/2020


We ran a pilot program with 9 participants.


We ran the program again with 19 participants.


We will run the program again with 20 places available.