Release type: Joint Media Release


Government joins UWS in Indigenous Employment push


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib and Member for Parramatta Julie Owens today announced $570,000 for a new employment and training project for Indigenous Australians at the University of Western Sydney.

The project includes the ‘Elders on Campus’ initiative where Elders will provide leadership, cultural support and mentoring of students across the seven university campuses.

The new UWS three-year project will also create 10 cadetships, six traineeships and five jobs and builds on previous partnerships between the University and the Gillard Government.

Senator Arbib and Ms Owens today visited the University to meet with some of the participants of the existing programs who have been employed by the university.

“UWS is doing some great work in building opportunities for Indigenous people in Western Sydney,” Senator Arbib said.

“I am delighted that the Government is working with such a committed organisation to create jobs and training for local people.

“The existing project has provided 20 job opportunities including, traineeships and cadetships. Already 14 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and cadets hold positions across the various UWS campuses and with host employers, covering a range of occupations from business administrators to human resource officers.”

Ms Owens said the Government had provided almost $400,000 for the existing University of Western Sydney Indigenous Employment Project.

“This project is a great opportunity for the participants and I commend them for the dedication, commitment and hard work that they have showed throughout their placements so far,” Ms Owens said.

“Projects like this are an excellent example of the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

“Thanks to the support of the Government the University of Western Sydney has boosted its Indigenous employment levels from just 15 Indigenous staff in 2007 to 40 Indigenous academic and general staff now.“The UWS has a target of 2.5 per cent of employees to be from Indigenous backgrounds, which is to be commended.”

Senator Arbib said the IEP was part of the Australian Government's commitment to close the gap on Indigenous employment.

The Gillard Government has a target of creating more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.

The government has committed more than $750 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program, to assist Indigenous Australians into ongoing, sustainable work.