Legislative Council: Tuesday, July 05, 2022


Aboriginal Frontline Leadership Program

The Hon. J.E. HANSON (15:08): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council about the work of the Aboriginal Frontline Leadership Program?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:08): I thank the honourable member for his question and his interest in this area, particularly Aboriginal people and work in the public sector. The South Australian Aboriginal Frontline Leadership program is run by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and works to support Aboriginal employees across the state government. It is tailored to advance the skills of those people wishing to increase their knowledge for leadership positions or to develop their leadership capabilities.

Participants take part in the program over six months and undertake a range of activities, including workshops, online modules and networking activities, all aimed at supporting future leaders to build their skills. Other activities include manager training, where participants learn more about the day-to-day challenges of leadership by working alongside a manager for a period of time. Throughout the program, participants hear from experienced leaders both from within the SA public sector and from other fields.

The program is targeted towards ASO2 to ASO6-level employees and equivalents. In this way, it helps people early in their journey in the SA public sector to develop and realise their aspirations and step up into management and leadership roles. Although this program, like so many others, has had to shift to more online times in the last few years due to COVID-19 restrictions, feedback from participants remains positive.

I had the very good fortune of attending the recent closing day for this year's program and to be able to speak to and answer a range of questions from attendees. The Aboriginal affairs portfolio touches on many areas across government and it was a great opportunity to speak with up-and-coming Aboriginal leaders working in all different areas across different departments and agencies. Whether it's in government, in business or anywhere else in our community, I am pleased that we are increasingly making the most of these opportunities to support future Aboriginal leaders.

I would like to thank those government departments and agencies that sponsored places for their staff to take part in the program, including my own department, the Attorney-General's Department. Work like this plays a small part in helping overcome barriers that still exist in our society for Aboriginal people to reach their full potential, and it's work that I am keen to see continue. As has been already noted a number of times, this week being NAIDOC Week it's a good opportunity for other organisations to consider how they can support Aboriginal employment and leadership as well.

Many organisations are implementing and carrying out work according to their established reconciliation action plans, and it's exactly these kinds of outcomes that these plans should be working to address and produce. I want to pay tribute to everyone involved in the Aboriginal Frontline Leadership Program for their efforts and I look forward to participating in future rounds of this important program.