Department of Human Services

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Message from the Chief Executive

Improving the cultural, spiritual, and family wellbeing of Aboriginal people in South Australia and building strong, safe, resilient and stable communities is a key priority of the Department of Human Services (DHS).

We recognise Aboriginal people as the first Australians with unique cultures, languages and spiritual relationships to the land and seas and the inherent rights, laws, customs, religions, and traditions of Aboriginal peoples. It is this stewardship, built over thousands of years, that   has created the remarkable country that we are fortunate to inhabit today.

Meeting the challenges of the future will require a workforce that reflects the community we serve. DHS plays an important role in addressing the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people in South Australia where high levels of poverty and disadvantage are experienced by many Aboriginal children, families and communities in South Australia on a daily basis. Employment is a crucial step out of these situations.

If we are to capably respond to the needs of the community, the representation of Aboriginal people in the department must increase and alongside of it, investing in building the cultural capabilities of our non-Aboriginal workforce is critical to ensure we can respond in a manner that is culturally responsive and safe.

DHS has identified four focus areas underpinning this workforce strategy:

  • Creating more employment opportunities and entry pathways for Aboriginal people and continuing to increase Aboriginal representation across all divisions and salary levels.
  • Retaining and supporting our existing Aboriginal employees in a culturally supportive workplace and improving career planning and training to build capabilities and enhance opportunities.
  • Building a stronger succession pipeline and enabling more Aboriginal staff to progress into senior leadership roles.
  • Building the cultural knowledge and capability of our no- Aboriginal staff.

The development of the DHS Aboriginal Workforce Strategy has been shaped by Aboriginal staff within the department and with significant assistance from the DHS Aboriginal Leadership Group and the DHS Reconciliation Committee.

Endorsed by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), I am pleased to present the DHS Aboriginal Workforce Strategy 2021–2023 and I strongly encourage you all to engage with the specific employment initiatives detailed in this document.

Lois Boswell
DHS Chief Executive

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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