Release type: Media Release


Government and AFL team up to support Indigenous employment


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Employment Participation

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor today announced a new partnership between Australian Government and Australian Football League to increase Indigenous employment.

Addressing a corporate event ahead of Saturday’s annual AFL Dreamtime at the ‘G match between Richmond and Essendon, Mr O’Connor announced the Australian Government is providing $581,000 for seven Indigenous Programs Coordinators in each of the AFL’s state affiliate leagues.

The coordinators will identify and look to create up to 70 jobs for Indigenous Australians with each of the state leagues as well as develop Indigenous employment strategies and cross cultural awareness training.

Mr O’Connor said Indigenous players have brought new perspectives, new energy, an innovative approach and extraordinary skills to Aussie Rules.

“The business and development of sport as an industry has been growing for sometime and the AFL is a sport that many Indigenous Australians have excelled,” Mr O’Connor said.

“It is time we recognised that Indigenous Australians can and do excel in other workplaces.

“Indigenous employees' experience and knowledge can make valued contributions to business development, particularly in Indigenous markets.

“This project is part of the AFL’s Indigenous Employment Strategy which aims to increase Indigenous jobs on and off the field.

“Partnerships with organisations such as AFL play a key role in contributing to the Government’s commitment to halving the gap in employment outcomes for Indigenous people within a decade.”

Mr O’Connor said to further address the gap, the Australian Government is improving employment services for Indigenous Australians.

Developed after extensive consultations with Indigenous Australians, their communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous business and service providers, the reforms to Indigenous Employment Programs will begin on 1 July 2009.

The reforms, together with Job Services Australia, the new, streamlined employment services system, will ensure Indigenous job seekers are supported to get jobs.

The new Indigenous employment programs will allow the Government to work with Indigenous communities, organisations and individuals to deliver a broad range of projects suited to their local circumstances and focussed on the best outcomes for all Indigenous Australians.

More information on the new Indigenous Employment Programs can be found at