Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant

The Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant (EDAEG) adopts a number of strategies to develop and support Aboriginal people through the creation of training and employment opportunities. Promoting diversity, innovation and service responsiveness in the NSW workforce, the Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant subsidises the salary, development and support costs of Aboriginal employees in public service agencies and local government authorities.

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Image: Innovation in achieving vocational outcomes for Aboriginal people

Grant elements

  • Permanent Ongoing Employment – $20,000 up to $40,000 to support the creation of permanent employment.
  • Temporary (Term Employment) Secondment – $20,000 up to $40,000 (dependant on the term of position) to support a temporary position of up to 12 months that offers significant skill development for a permanent employee.
  • School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships – $10,000 one off payment to support school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Post School Element - $10,000 up to $20,000 (Part - Time or Full- Time Employment Status) to support the continuation of employment for a learner who successfully completed a High School Certificate (HSC, Year 12) in the previous calendar year.



Organisations applying for funding under the EDAEG must be registered, based in NSW and provide services within the State.

To be eligible, organisations must be a:

  • NSW public service agency; or
  • NSW local government authority operating under the Local Government Act 1993.


Funding will NOT be provided to support:

  • Positions that form part of an organisations bulk or annual recruitment intake
  • Existing positions within an organisations staffing structure
  • A position(s) that has previously been funded under the program
  • A position(s) that has previously been funded under the Temporary Placement/Secondment element of the program
  • A position(s) that has been filled prior to the closing date for applications i.e. no retrospective funding.
  • Group Training Organisations are not eligible to receive the Grant.

How to apply

Applications for the 2023/2024 funding round are now open and can be accessed at aboriginalinitiatives.smartygrants.com.au/EDAEG2324

Grant guidelines and resources

Further information regarding the Grant can be found here:

For more information

Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant enquiries:
E: tsnsw.edaeg@det.nsw.edu.au

A community leader and an inspiration

Elsa Dixon was born in 1925 and lived in Campbell Street Darlinghurst for 32 years. Elsa was an extraordinary person and the first Aboriginal woman to obtain a Pilot’s License in the 1940s. She was one of the original founders of a number of critical Aboriginal services over the 70s and 80s. Elsa cared for single mothers and would often buy food out of her own money for their children.

Aboriginal activist

Elsa was an Aboriginal activist who played a key role in improving social outcomes for Aboriginal people in NSW. In 1970 she was part of an activist group which included Shirley Smith and her husband Chicka Dixon, who were the guiding force behind a group of young Aboriginal men and women involved in the campaign for land rights by the Gurindji people.

This same group, with Fred Hollows and others, helped to establish Aboriginal Medical Service in July 1971. They also helped establish the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs, the Aboriginal Legal Service in 1971, the Aboriginal Black Theatre, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Aboriginal Children’s Service, the Aboriginal Housing Company and the Detoxification Centre.

Elsa remained an active member of the Medical Service until her passing in 1993.

Focus on Employment for Aboriginal people

In 1975, after many years of social activism, Elsa won a position as an Aboriginal Vocational Officer with the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training. This position was one of seven in NSW and it was the first time in Australia that Aboriginal Vocational Officer positions had been created.

For seventeen years, Elsa was a central figure in the Broadway CES Casual Section. Working tirelessly both during and outside work hours for all CES clients, she was affectionately named ‘Mrs Casual’.

Elsa kept a drawer full of 50 cent pieces and another filled with cigarettes to comfort people. The Casual Section of the Broadway CES attracted many desperate people from the country or those who were just out of jail seeking employment, or sometimes those just wanting a sandwich from Elsa.

Elsa knew the importance of employment for people and her commitment would not be hindered by rules about the time the Casual Section should open for clients.

For nine years Elsa opened the Casual Section at 6.00am to ensure that clients would be able to start work at 7.30am. A new manager joined the Casual Section of the Broadway CES and agreed with Elsa that employment is linked to good business practice. If clients were to start work by 7.30am the office needed to open at 6.00am. The manager changed the scheduled opening time to 6.00am and ensured that Elsa received back pay for those nine years of overtime.

The Aboriginal people at the heart of her life and work

Elsa strove personally and professionally to assist those who needed her help, for she knew that to overcome social inequality, people needed education, training and employment – the foundations of an informed and just society.


  • Skills
  • VET


  • VET

Business Unit:

  • Training Services NSW
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