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Koori Employment and Career Strategy

The Department of Justice and Regulation (the department) prides itself on its achievements in increasing Koori employment across all divisions and business units and is committed to growing and developing our Koori workforce.

In 2017 the department released its Koori Employment and Career Strategy 2017-2020 (External link) This strategy aims to achieve a 2.5 per cent Koori workforce, and is part of our larger commitment to:

  • establish clear and accessible employment pathways for new and existing Koori staff, across all areas and all levels of the Justice and Regulation portfolio
  • deliver stronger career development initiatives for Koori staff to build leadership and management capability
  • create a culturally respectful and inclusive workplace, that recognises and embraces the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The department is proud to have grown its Koori workforce from 84 staff in 2011, to now employing over 160 Koori staff (1.92 per cent).

Some of the initiatives within the Koori Employment and Career Strategy include:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Koori) Graduate Scheme

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Scheme is an employment program offered by the Department of Justice and Regulation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates who have completed their degree or are in the final year of their studies.

The objective of this program is to make the transition to a career within the department more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates. Emphasis is placed on investing in the graduates’ professional development and retaining them in fulfilling, successful careers.

This program mirrors the Victorian Public Service Graduate Program, in that graduates participate in three rotations and a structured graduate learning and development program; however, the recruitment process is tailored to ensure cultural sensitivities are catered for and graduates will have access to additional networking opportunities and peer support through the department’s Koori Staff Network (KSN).

If you are interested in applying for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Scheme please contact the Aboriginal Employment Team via email aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Aboriginal Tertiary Scholarship Program

The Aboriginal Tertiary Scholarship Program (the program) is a key component of the Department of Justice and Regulation (the department) Career Development Program, aligned with Action Area 3: Building stronger careers, of the Koori Employment and Career Strategy 2017-2020 (the strategy).

The program aims to support Victorian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander tertiary students in completing their studies. Recipients of the scholarship receive a fortnightly study allowance to undertake full-time study in a broad range of fields related to the business of the Department of Justice and Regulation.

The program aims to achieve a long-term increase in the number of qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed across all areas and all levels of department and related agencies.

The department will offer a limited number of scholarships each year in the amount of either $10,000 or $30,000 annually under the program.

Further information and application forms are now available for the Aboriginal Tertiary Scholarship Program, or contact the Aboriginal Employment Team via email aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)


Youth Employment Scheme - Traineeships

The Youth Employment Scheme is an initiative that provides employment and training for young people. Traineeships are a full-time 12–24 month commitment comprising four days of work and one day of training per week. Upon successful completion, trainees receive an accredited qualification and genuine work experience. The program provides a pathway for Koori youth into the department through ongoing employment on successful completion of their traineeship.

To express your interest in becoming a Koori YES trainee, please contact the Aboriginal Employment Team via email aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Aboriginal Undergraduate Cadetship Program

The Aboriginal Undergraduate Cadetship Program provides work experience to 2nd and 3rd year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are undertaking their first undergraduate degree. The program is designed to develop specialist skills and provides cadets with 12 weeks of paid work experience, access to mentors, senior Aboriginal VPS employees and the Aboriginal Graduate Alumni. Cadetships run for 12 months from the start of Semester One with work placements taking place between November and February.

Koori Employment in Corrections

Koori Employment in Corrections Victoria aims to attract, recruit and retain Koories in a number of roles including prison officers, community corrections officers and field officers. This support includes a culturally appropriate attraction and recruitment process, with all candidates given the opportunity to utilise support from the Koori Employment Team.

To apply visit http://www.correctionsjobs.vic.gov.au (External link) or contact the Aboriginal Employment Team via email aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Pathways to Justice Calendar

The annual calendar profiles and promotes the stories and positive experiences of Koori staff working in the department. The annual Pathways to Justice Calendar strives to encourage, motivate and inspire Koories to seek career opportunities in the department by raising awareness of the variety of career opportunities.

Koori Staff Networks

The department has various staff support networks in place including a state-wide Koori Staff Network, Koori Youth Network and regional Koori Staff Networks. These networks assists in developing and retaining Koori staff by promoting peer support, professional and personal development and establishing connections with other Koories across the department. The Koori Staff Network also provides valuable cultural peer support from other Koori staff members.

Koori Cultural Awareness Training

Koori Cultural Awareness Training (KCAT) is available to all staff within the department. The delivery of KCAT aims to improve cultural awareness and provide employees with a working knowledge and an understanding of the unique issues faced by the Koori community. The training is regularly delivered across the department and can be tailored to accommodate specific business units or program area needs.

Koori Mentoring Program

The Koori Mentoring Program is available to all Koori staff working within the department. Each program runs for 12 months, matching mentees with internal or external mentors. The program is a unique opportunity for Koori staff to establish a formal structured mentoring partnership and focus on their career development.

Apply now

The department strongly encourages applications from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. There are a broad range of opportunities across the department for work in Koori specific and non-Koori specific roles.

Employment opportunities within the department are advertised on:


Gavin Somers
Aboriginal Employment Team
Department of Justice and Regulation
Tel: (03) 8684 1751 or (03) 8684 1753
aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Banner art: Ngali Yanhagirri (We Will Go Together) by Michael Bogie 

Michael is a proud Wiradjuri man and is an emerging Aboriginal artist. Michael grew up in the rural town of Corowa and now currently resides in Wodonga with his wife and four children.

By exploring his own Aboriginal heritage, Michael has developed a community around him through stories, music, dance and art. Through his learning's he has been able to pass on his knowledge and skills to his children. Michael enjoys painting as he finds it very therapeutic.

Michael joined the department in 2012 and was an original participant in the department’s Koori Mentoring Program. Michael currently works as a Prison Officer at the Beechworth Correctional Centre.