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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Defence

ARTICLE – ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PARTICIPATION IN DEFENCE

Defence delivers a range of programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities, including implementation of initiatives and strategies arising from the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2010–14 and the whole-of-Government targets set under the Closing the Gap on Indigenous Disadvantage agenda. Funding for these strategies is provided under the Defence White Paper 2009.

The White Paper funded two lines of activity aimed at increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the workforce, and thus assisting Defence to build a diversified workforce. The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2010–14 outlines most of the activities being undertaken by Defence to meet these outcomes. Overlaying this is the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed target for all Commonwealth, state and territory entities to achieve a minimum Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation of 2.7% of the total workforce by 2015.

The 2010–11 financial year saw a modest increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Defence employees. The strategies employed encompass initiatives to attract and recruit more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from remote, regional and urban communities throughout Australia.

The Defence Indigenous Development Program is now in its third year, with courses underway in Katherine, Northern Territory and Cairns, Queensland. The program provides the opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians from remote communities to acquire skills which are transferable back into their communities and enhance the participants' ADF enlistment opportunities. Of the two programs completed in December 2010, 16 graduates commenced ADF recruitment processes and eight enlisted in the ADF. All graduates completed a range of vocational training and skills development, and most gained full-time employment after completing the program. Programs for 2011 commenced in March, with 72 individuals screened and 52 participants selected. A review of the direction and outcomes of the program will be undertaken and the results used for planning future courses.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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