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The Australian National University

Why are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees leaving the Public Service


Humanities Research Centre Conference Room, First Floor, A.D. Hope Bldg #14 (opposite Chifley Library), The Australian National University, Canberra.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016
12.30 - 2.00pm

Despite some success in recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Australian Public Service (APS), the long-term trend is one of declining representation. A fundamental issue is that rates of separation among Indigenous public servants remain consistently greater than their non-Indigenous counterparts. The research presented here seeks to understand the reasons Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are opting to leave the APS. Drawing on analysis of existing data sets and original interviews with former and current APS employees, the findings presented here offer insights into the key factors involved, and raise important implications for strategies that aim to increase rates of Indigenous employment in the APS.

Biographies: Dr Julie Lahn is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. She has a PhD in anthropology from James Cook University of North Queensland. Her current research interests engage professional cultures of work and achievement in SE Australia, economic development in the Torres Strait and Aboriginal notions of public value in the Kimberley region. Dr Nicholas Biddle is a Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University (ANU) and Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Applied Social Research Methods (AusCen). He has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons.) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Education from Monash University. He also has a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU where he wrote his thesis on the benefits of and participation in education of Indigenous Australians. He previously held a Senior Research Officer and Assistant Director position in the Methodology Division of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Seminar Recording10.92 MB

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