Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have unique skills, experience and knowledge that can make a real difference with a career in the department.

The department acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of country throughout NSW and their continuing connection to land, waterways, culture, lore and community.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

The important role of Aboriginal peoples

We are working to ensure Aboriginal peoples play an increasing role in the education and training of young Australians.

Aboriginal students improve their learning outcomes and build their personal strengths when Aboriginal staff and communities are involved in their education.

You can help us increase Year 12 completion rates, expand culturally inclusive learning programs and promote opportunities for Aboriginal communities to engage with school life.

There is a constant demand for Aboriginal applicants. We will help you at every stage, starting with finding the right job and then building your skills and capabilities at work.

Employment opportunities

We have a wide range of opportunities for Aboriginal peoples to work in our schools, in our regional and state offices and within our senior executive service.

You will be supported from the moment you begin work with an induction program. There are networking and mentoring programs to support you, and you will be encouraged to develop your career through opportunities for job rotation, temporary appointments, secondments, work shadowing, and study leave.

We have two types of jobs: those identified for Aboriginal peoples, and non-identified positions open to all candidates.

If you are applying for a job that has been advertised as an Aboriginal position you will need to tell us about your Aboriginality. There are three things which are important:

  • being of Aboriginal descent
  • identifying as an Aboriginal person
  • being accepted by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal person.

At an interview for an identified position you may also be asked about your Aboriginality. In the department, it is expected that if you identify as Aboriginal for the purposes of employment you will identify as Aboriginal in the workplace.

In a job identified for Aboriginal peoples you will work in our schools or corporate offices to support Aboriginal students and communities. You will see these jobs described as Aboriginal identified positions.

We also encourage applications from Aboriginal candidates for our wide range of non-identified positions and we believe you have an important role to play in strengthening education and training for all young Australians.

Confirmation of Aboriginality

We are committed to improving the employment outcomes and wellbeing of Aboriginal staff to ensure that you have the opportunity to excel and achieve in every aspect of your career and professional development.

To ensure all applicants for Aboriginal-targeted teaching scholarships and Aboriginal identified positions are of Aboriginal descent, identify as Aboriginal and are accepted in their community as Aboriginal, we now require that all of these applicants provide confirmation of their Aboriginality. The new guideline does not apply to existing Aboriginal identified employees of the department.

The Confirmation of Aboriginality Guideline outlines the process applicants or employees must follow to apply for targeted teacher scholarships or Aboriginal identified positions, as well as current employees who wish to change their status with the department by having their Aboriginality recognised.

Support for your teaching career

There is a strong connection between the work of our teachers of Aboriginal descent and improved learning outcomes for Aboriginal students.

We have more than 1,250 teachers of Aboriginal descent working in our schools. Some of our schools are located in Aboriginal communities or have high numbers of Aboriginal students.

The department has a graduate recruitment program for teachers to help you to find the right teaching position once you have completed your studies.

Another pathway into teaching is to progress from a school administrative and support role. If you are already working in a school, we can support you as you train to become a qualified teacher.

If you take up a new appointment as a teacher of Aboriginal descent, we support you during your first year with:

  • a mentor
  • invitations to attend network meetings and workshops at the local and regional level
  • regular telephone/email contact with Aboriginal human resources officers.

If you have just gained your teaching qualifications and have not yet taken up a permanent teaching role, we offer temporary teaching engagements so you can improve your teaching skills and confidence.

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and have satisfied the service requirements for transfer, you may apply to transfer with priority status.

Positions in school leadership and support

After teaching for some time, you may consider applying for a senior position that gives you the opportunity to apply your leadership and management skills. These positions include head teacher, assistant principal and principal.

Other positions you may consider include:

  • school education director
  • Aboriginal community liaison officer
  • Aboriginal student liaison officer
  • consultant Aboriginal education
  • home school liaison officer
  • school development officer
  • Aboriginal education and wellbeing officer

These positions give you the opportunity to support Aboriginal students, communities, teachers of Aboriginal descent and teaching communities. The positions are generally located in state and regional offices.

Support for your school administration and support career

School administration and support workers are often the first to greet students, parents and visitors when they arrive at school. The skills, experience and knowledge of Aboriginal peoples are particularly valuable in helping Aboriginal communities engage with school life.

More than 480 Aboriginal people are employed in these roles in our schools.

Aboriginal education officers

Some positions in schools with high Aboriginal student enrolments are identified for Aboriginal peoples. In particular, Aboriginal education officers work on culturally appropriate programs and are valuable role models for Aboriginal students.

Professional development for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SASS

To support you in your role, Learning Delivery have curated a suite of on-demand learning resources and provided links to a range of interactive, facilitated sessions. Please check out these learning plans to give yourself a head start.

Support for your corporate career

Working in the department's corporate offices, you can help foster a relationship built on respect, commitment, collaboration and accountability.

The department is aiming to increase the number of Aboriginal staff in all our workplaces.

As an Aboriginal applicant, we value your unique skills, experience and knowledge. We believe it is important for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to work together to enable Aboriginal students to achieve their aspirations and realise their potential.

Aboriginal peoples are specially suited to a range of identified positions that provide effective support to Aboriginal students and communities, and are actively involved in the department's decision making processes.

We welcome your application for a corporate role. Join our collaborative efforts to meet the education needs of Aboriginal peoples.

Networking opportunities

To aid you in the ability to share information and ways of working with your peers the Aboriginal Workforce Team are building a series of networking opportunities as part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Workforce Strategy. Feel free to join the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network.

Further Information


Aboriginal Employment
(02) 7814 3833


  • Human resources

Business Unit:

  • HR Operations
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