Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Forum
- 29 November 2019 10:28AM
Connections and Conversations: Doing Things Differently! was the theme of the third annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Forum, held on Yugumbeh country on the Gold Coast in May 2019.
The Director-General and Executive Leadership Team joined over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the sharing of stories and discussion of issues at this vibrant event.
The forum was designed to encourage open and honest dialogue between staff and leaders, with an emphasis on addressing challenges, breaking down barriers and finding better ways of working.
The HPW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advancement Framework provided a platform for many topics of discussion at the event. The Framework identifies five key priorities for achieving better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities across Queensland and commits the department to continuous improvement in the following areas:
- cultural capability (including cultural capability training and the cultural immersion program)
- communication and engagement
- workforce development
- business procurement
- stakeholder development.
Opportunity was a key theme of the feedback received from staff.
“Using my ability to connect with people and build networks and relationships has been critical to developing my career within government,” said event delegate Rachel Stone from Sport and Recreation.
Ryan Kruger works in Housing and Homelessness service delivery. “The cultural immersion program is one of the best opportunities I’ve had in my life so far. The places I’ve been and the people I’ve met have helped me develop into the person I am today,” he said.
First Nations Housing Advisor Mick Gooda was also in attendance, leading a discussion about the importance of designing systems that cope with difference, in particular responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This topic resonated strongly with delegates and provided a catalyst for a lively discussion about place-based and person-centred approaches.
Forum participants advocated for the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Development Strategy to support the attract, retention and career pathways of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.