Career pathways

Whatever your previous work and life experience, there are career opportunities for you in the department.

Aboriginal peoples are employed as directors, principals, school executive, consultants, teachers, office staff, support officers, development managers, policy and project officers and administrative staff.

We have full-time and part-time jobs. We have jobs open to all applicants and jobs identified for Aboriginal peoples.

There are many, varied pathways to a satisfying career. We understand that all life experiences build your capabilities. We value not only your work experience and education, but the skills you have developed in raising a family or running a household, or in sport or other community roles.

Here are some possible career pathways for you to consider.

School teaching

Aboriginal peoples make great teachers.

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.

Teaching scholarships

Our greatest curriculum areas of need are for secondary teachers in the subject areas of mathematics, science (with physics), technological and applied studies, and special education. Aboriginal applicants can apply to teach in any subject area including primary education.

Your teaching career

There are many ways that you can teach in a NSW public school and contribute to a system that values Aboriginal heritage and identity.

You can train at university after leaving school.

You may be studying in another area, and then choose to enrol in a postgraduate education course. Or you may want to change your career and return to university to train as a teacher.

To become a teacher in a NSW public school, you need to have teacher education qualifications from a university and accreditation from the NSW Education Standards Authority.

Most universities have an Aboriginal education centre with programs to assist and support you as you study. Once qualified, you can apply to teach in any NSW public school.

We support you

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.

School administration and support careers

School administration and support roles make an important contribution to the education of Aboriginal students. There are a variety of roles, many involve the planning and maintaining of school routines and managing the school's financial and administrative functions.

In fact, school administration and support staff 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. Administration and support roles include:

  • school administrative manager (SAM)
  • school administrative officer (SAO)
  • school learning support officer (SLSO)
  • school learning support officer (Aboriginal students)
  • Aboriginal education officer (AEO)
  • general assistant (GA)
  • farm assistant (FA)
  • technical support officer
  • paraprofessional.

What do school administrative and support staff do?

As part of the school administrative and support staff team, you will work with the principal in planning and maintaining school routines and managing the school's financial and administrative functions. To ensure the high standard of facilities in NSW public schools, we also need enthusiastic people to maintain the equipment, buildings, playing fields and gardens, to manage deliveries and to help with teaching resources.

How can I support learning?

Your work as a learning support officer involves assisting teachers in their classroom activities and assisting students who need individual learning programs or extra help.

Aboriginal education officers

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

Corporate careers

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

Corporate staff in our state and regional offices play an essential leadership and management role. Supporting more than 780,000 public school students, and with a workforce of nearly 100,000, we need Aboriginal staff at every level to help us shape policies and programs.

Corporate roles

We offer an open, collaborative work environment and we appreciate the diversity of our staff. Corporate roles span a range of fields, including (but not limited to):

  • legal services
  • finance
  • communications
  • management
  • administration.

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.

Help Aboriginal communities

We invite you to work with us to create greater opportunities for Aboriginal communities to connect with our schools, to provide culturally inclusive learning programs for Aboriginal children and improve school retention rates and the number of Aboriginal Year 12 graduates.

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. These include:

  • directors
  • education consultants
  • managers
  • policy officers
  • project officers
  • administrative/clerical officers.

Graduate opportunities

The department participates in the NSW Government Graduate Program and offers graduate corporate positions for people who have recently graduated from university or who have some work experience. These vacancies are advertised at:

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

Support and development

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.


Aboriginal Employment, Human Resources
02 9836 9601

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