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Starring: opportunity and inspiration for indigenous Australians

Designed by Marcus Lee, this concept reflects the employment opportunities and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at ANZ.

ANZ acknowledges Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, skies and waterways. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.


Growing up as a proud Narungga man, my mother and grandparents always worked in Indigenous affairs in the public and private sectors.

From a young age, I was aware of opportunities out there for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


I started my career in the mining industry, an opportunity I found through the company’s Indigenous employment program.


Following that, seven years ago when I started my career at ANZ, it was through our Indigenous Traineeship Program. I cannot speak highly enough of the opportunity it has given me to get where I am today.


In fact, without both of these organisations having Indigenous recruitment programs, there is no way I would have ever had an opportunity to be doing what I’m doing today, both professionally and personally.


These opportunities are the product of commitment from both the employee and employer. I was very fortunate to have access to this knowledge - the reality is the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are not aware of the employment opportunities available to them, for a myriad of reasons.


According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AISW), Indigenous Australians, on average, have lower levels of employment than non-Indigenous Australians. Disparities in employment and income are associated with a wider range of other disadvantages and can have adverse intergenerational effects on children from an early age.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the Census between 2006 and 2016, show:


  • Indigenous employment rates for those aged 15–64 decreased slightly from 48% to 46.6%. In comparison, the non-Indigenous employment rate remained stable at around 72%.

  • Differences in employment rates between Indigenous males and females narrowed between 2006 and 2016, with an increase for females (43.2% to 44.8%) and a decrease for males (53% to 48.5%) among those aged 15–64.

  • The proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 15–64 who are employed varies considerably by remoteness. In 2016, the:
    • proportion of employed Indigenous Australians declined consistently with increasing remoteness, from 54% in Major cities to 31% in very remote areas, and;
    • the gap in employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aged 15–64 increased with increasing remoteness, from an 18 percentage point gap in Major cities to 54 percentage points in Very remote areas.


Changing lives for over 20 years

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) is a national Aboriginal recruitment and Group Training company that has been changing lives for over 20 years.

The AES empowers people through employment and training in turn supporting self-determination, self-belief and economic independence.

Through breaking down barriers, building relationships and breaking the mould on standard recruitment models, the AES leads through innovation and impact.

AES CEO Kristy Masella says “we are committed to creating career opportunities for Indigenous people across the Country.  We believe in people, invest in people, and walk with them along their career journey."

“Our passionate and experienced teams of local Indigenous recruiters are the reason why we’ve been successful in supporting over 25,000 Indigenous people into rewarding careers.”


Image: The Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) team.

Positive, sustainable employment solutions


Indigenous Work Stars specialises in the placement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into meaningful employment throughout Australia.


Delivering positive, sustainable employment solutions through effective recruitment, selection, management and retention practices, the team at Indigenous Work Stars is passionate, dedicated and determined to assist this Nation’s First People realise their full potential.


The Indigenous Workstars team connects culture and capability in everything they do, working with candidates from all walks of life from the extremely disadvantaged to highly skilled, sought after professionals, using each and every opportunity to create positive change for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Grant McDonagh, CEO Indigenous Workstars says, “We are delighted to partner with ANZ once again in creating rewarding, high-impact careers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People within ANZ.”

Image: Indigenous Work Stars team


If they can do it, I can do it


Recruiting Indigenous talent and having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment strategy in organisations is key to reconciliation and advancing social and financial participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.


As a business, making a genuine commitment to grow and support your Indigenous workforce demonstrates to your current and potential employees you have an inclusive and culturally safe working environment.


By providing these opportunities you are not only changing the lives of individuals but families (immediate and extended) and in some cases even entire communities.


This change doesn’t just come via monetary value; income is not always the be all and end all. While income does allow financial support, the more impactful change comes in the form of motivating others.


When family members who may be unemployed now see someone working and thriving, it can inspire them to do the same for themselves – “If they can do it, I can do it”.  And this can have a huge, positive impact on the wider community.


Extending the reach


ANZ has established two Supply Nation certified* recruitment partners, Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) and Indigenous Work Stars who will help extend reach into communities across Australia, breaking down some of the road blocks to exposure I mentioned earlier.


In selecting this specialised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment panel, various elements were considered, including alignment with ANZ’s values, their relationships with traditional owners and the sourcing approaches used.

Having these partners on board enables ANZ to select one of our Indigenous providers to be present on the panel when recruiting, encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates to be considered.


In turn, this will continue to encourage Indigenous professionals to join our teams at all levels, strengthening not only the company, but the community.


*An Indigenous business that is majority-owned, controlled and managed by Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders is eligible to become a Supply Nation Certified Supplier.



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