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 are now closed

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

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

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

  • in non-executive roles, equal to a high-performing VPS 5 and 6 level
  • who have an excellent work history
  • 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

Manager’s support

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

When you apply, you’ll need to upload proof your manager has approved for you to apply and why they want you to do the program.

Their statement must include this text:

“As [applicant’s name]’s manager, I:

  • Have read and understand the program elements, costs and timeframes
  • Commit to support their development in the program
  • Agree they can attend the program for the welcome event, 8 to 10 hours of coaching and the 3-day leadership residential in work time
  • Will discuss and contribute to the person’s leadership development plan and attend any meetings or events, if needed
  • Will contact the Victorian Public Sector Commission if I have any questions about the program”

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

The program runs like this:

May 2020

  • Apply to the program with support from your manager

June 2020

  • Find out if you get in the program
  • Come to a welcome event
  • Begin your coaching sessions

September 2020

  • Attend the 3-day leadership residential
  • Finish in the program

December 2020

  • Finish in the program

There’s no cost to join the program and we’ll pay for everyone’s:

  • coaching
  • accommodation and full board for the 3-day leadership residential

You’ll still need to pay for any other costs that arise outside the program.

For example, if you want to do more coaching on top of what we include in the program, you’d need to pay for this.

Depending on where you work, there may be some other costs:

Costs for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations or Traditional Owner Groups

If you’re from an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation or Traditional Owner Group, we’ll pay for all your travel and accommodation costs.

Costs for deparments and public sector organisations

If you’re from a department or public sector organisation, they need to pay for your travel and accommodation costs.

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.

The program is made up of 3 elements:

Leadership Coaching

You’ll do:

  • a 1-on-1 to tailor your leadership development plan
  • a series of 4 group sessions
  • a second 1-on-1 at the end of the program to reflect on your progress

Tailored leadership development plan

You’ll use your own leadership development plan throughout the program.

You use this plan to tailor the program to your specific needs.

We prioritise on-the-job learning and base our program on contemporary career and leadership development, such as network-based learning, formal training and network building.

Leadership residential

In September 2020, you’ll do a 3-day leadership residential with learning and development, coaching and mentoring activities.

We normally hold this about an hour from Melbourne, but we’ll fill you in closer to the date.

Connect, share experiences and learn from high-profile Aboriginal leaders and your peers in a culturally safe environment.

We’ll focus on leadership in a group context to strengthen group cohesion and capability.

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.