On Wednesday 7 February, the Aboriginal Employment Unit celebrated the achievements of its Career Development Program foundation cohort.

Fourteen Aboriginal employees from 6 Victorian Government departments and Victoria Police gathered to share stories of personal success after having participated in professional coaching in 2017.

Participants received 6 individually tailored coaching sessions over a period of 10 months. Coaching focused on building personal confidence, mapping career trajectories and developing leadership skills.

Caroline Kell, program participant and Senior Project Officer at Department of Health and Human Services spoke about her experience:

“I have a deep desire to advocate for the Aboriginal community. The Career Development Program enabled me to have confidence in my abilities. I now put my hand up for tasks that I previously shied away from. I learnt a lot about myself in order to help others.”

Kathy McKenzie, a professional coach of the Career Development Program remarked:

“I have seen incredible changes in the Aboriginal employees I coached. All developed new skills that saw them progress to more senior roles. Connecting with each other has also encouraged sharing of experiences at work.”

Paul Grimes, Victorian Public Sector Commissioner also spoke:

“It is important our workforce reflects the diversity of the Victorian community. The needs and aspirations of Aboriginal Victorians shape the work of the government. Sustained investment in the development of Aboriginal staff will ensure we have more Aboriginal voices at the centre of decision making.”

Out Aboriginal Career Development program is designed to create progressive career experiences for existing Aboriginal employees. It is a continued initiative of Barring Djinang – the five year Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

VPSC’s Aboriginal Employment Unit leads the rollout of 16 Barring Djinang initiatives across the public sector. Initiatives advance Aboriginal self-determination and drive collective progress toward a 2% employment target for Aboriginal representation within the Victorian Public Service by 2022.

Learn more about Barring Djinang at www.vpsc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-employment/barring-djinang/

Find out about programs supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Sector employees at www.vpsc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-employment/our-programs/

Contact VPSC’s Aboriginal Employment Unit:
Phone: 9651 0837 or email aboriginal.employment@vpsc.vic.gov.au


The Mandarin also covered the event and has an article on their site.  A free subscription may be required to access it.

Read “Leadership and resilience: Victoria’s Aboriginal career development program”


VPSC Commissioner, Paul Grimes with Caroline Kell and AEU Manager, Mason Atkinson.

Career Development Program foundation cohort and coaches with Mason Atkinson (Manager AEU) and Joe Murfet (Senior Adviser AEU).

L-R Roxanne Mayer-Marks, Kathy McKenzie and Bonnie Cavanagh.

L-R Evon Barker, Kathy McKenzie and Vicki Burgess.

L-R Evon Barker, Barbara Mongta, Paul Grimes (Commissioner VPSC), Emma Eastwood (Director VPSC) and Bettina Bysouth.