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Evaluation of the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy

Australian Public Service Commission

Project Director - Natalie Walker

Project Manager - Rivkah Nissim

In 2018 the Australian Public Service Commission engaged Inside Policy to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2015-2018, focusing on its effectiveness and implementation. The Strategy set out a suite of recruitment and retention actions applied across the entire Commonwealth public sector aimed at increasing the representation of Indigenous employees in the sector to three percent by 2018.

For the evaluation, we conducted qualitative data collection involving interviewing 28 agency representatives and key informants from 19 agencies and holding focus groups with 19 key stakeholders including Indigenous employees, Indigenous champions, Indigenous Liaison officers and Indigenous SES. We extracted and analysed information from Commonwealth workforce data, including APS survey and census data, and reviewed Indigenous employment strategies, Reconciliation Action Plans and Annual Reports.

The evaluation found that the Commonwealth public sector performed well in progressing towards its target, increasing Indigenous employee representation to 2.9% by 2018 and suggested a number of ways to refine the employment target and enhance the Strategy.

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