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UTS Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2015–2018

The Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2015–2018 is also available as a PDF document.

Dates
  • Strategy approved 17/08/2015
  • Strategy takes effect 22/09/2015
  • Strategy is due for review (up to five years) 2018
Strategy amendment approved 21/12/2015
Strategy amendment takes effect 27/01/2016
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit (see change history for details)
Accountable Officer Provost
Implementation Officer Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
Relevant to All staff and all students
Related documents
Legislation
File number UR 15/1190
Superseded documents Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2011–2014

Contents

Introduction

1.1 The UTS commitment

The University of Technology Sydney has a long-standing commitment to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage in employment and education.

To demonstrate this commitment, UTS has had an affirmative action employment strategy — the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy — in place since 1993. The Strategy has consistently promoted the recruitment, retention and career development of Indigenous staff within the University.

In 2011, the Indigenous Education and Employment Policy (the Policy) was endorsed and implemented. The Policy sets out to realise the sentiments and commitments contained in the UTS Reconciliation Statement.

The Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2011–2014 was developed to implement Indigenous employment and retention initiatives in accordance with the relevant objectives set out in the Policy. The 2011–2014 Strategy was successful in increasing numbers of positions in both academic and professional roles through innovative and flexible approaches that provided opportunities for new and existing Indigenous staff.

1.2 UTS Reconciliation Statement

The University of Technology Sydney acknowledges the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation and the Boorooberongal People of the Dharug Nation upon whose ancestral lands the University now stands.

The University recognises Indigenous Australian people as the first people of this continent, and understands that the history and knowledge developed over many thousands of years by Indigenous Australian people was severely disrupted at the time of early colonial settlements. The past two hundred years have left many Indigenous people at the crossroads, with poor health, education and employment prospects.

This Statement of Reconciliation is to reassert an ongoing commitment by the University to provide educational opportunities in the higher education sector for Indigenous people and, through research and education, the restoration of their histories and knowledge systems.

As part of this ongoing commitment, the University will strive to build an educational environment that is genuinely inclusive of the Indigenous people. This will be done through the following:

  • ongoing collaboration with Indigenous people to develop and implement in all faculties educational programs/courses/subjects that recognise Indigenous Australian people, knowledge and experience
  • increasing the representation of Indigenous staff and students throughout the University, through the active implementation of the Indigenous Education Strategy and the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy, and through other strategies as required
  • continuing to develop a supportive organisational culture which values and respects Indigenous culture and accommodates cultural differences wherever possible within the University's policies and practices
  • supporting activities and programs in all faculties that explore contemporary social justice issues
  • supporting activities and programs that foster communication and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff, students and community members
  • establishing relationships with Indigenous staff, students and community members based on the principles of self-determination, social justice, equal partnership and equity, and
  • promoting across the broader community awareness and appreciation of Australia's Indigenous heritage and the importance of protection and preservation of significant Indigenous sites across the land.

This Reconciliation Statement demonstrates the University of Technology Sydney's continuing commitment to provide opportunities for Indigenous Australian people in the higher education sector.

2. Purpose and strategic alignment

The purpose of this Strategy is to deliver sustainable employment and economic engagement opportunities for Indigenous Australians at UTS. Indigenous staff representation is a key multi-year initiative in the 2014–2016 implementation of the UTS Strategic Plan (2009–2018).

This Strategy contributes to the following UTS Strategic Priority Areas (2014–2016) within the UTS Strategic Plan (2009–2018):

  • 5. Align staff profiles, roles and career paths with our innovative learning and research strategies and priorities
  • 5.4 Implement initiatives relating to Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy.

3. Definitions

The following definitions apply for the purposes of the Wingara Indigenous Education and Employment Strategy 2015 - 2018(the Strategy). These are in addition to those outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Academic intern means an Indigenous higher degree research candidate who is selected on the basis of their suitability to progress into a career as an academic member of staff. The intern will work up to a 0.4 full-time equivalent (FTE) academic contract for the duration of their PhD or Masters by Research. The intern will be employed in a faculty or Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning (IHL) and will have the opportunity to teach and/or undertake research, depending on the faculty’s requirements and/or the intern’s professional interests.

Academic leader means an Indigenous level D (associate professor) or level E (professor) role recruited specifically to progress Indigenous knowledges within faculties and to provide leadership in Indigenous teaching, learning and research.

Academic of the Future means an Indigenous undergraduate student selected on the basis of their potential to progress into higher degree research candidature. The student will work up to a 0.4 FTE professional contract and will engage in mentoring for other Indigenous students as well as taking on a research activity within the faculty or Jumbunna IHL.

Cadet means an Indigenous undergraduate student selected on the basis of their potential to progress into a professional position within the University. The cadet will work at a 0.4 FTE professional contract, in a role suited to their experience and area of study. The cadet will be trained with ultimate aim of progressing into a mainstream position upon graduation.

Division means areas of responsibility held by Senior Executive management. These are:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (International and Advancement)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education and Students)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Corporate Services)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Resources).

Indigenous Employment Mandate Scheme means the requirement, directed by the Vice-Chancellor, stating the expectation to recruit at least one Indigenous person to a faculty or unit annually. The recruitment can take place under one of the existing Indigenous employment schemes or be directly recruited to an existing or new vacancy.

Trainee means an existing or prospective Indigenous vocational education student, selected on the basis of their potential to progress into a professional position within the University. The trainee will work in a 0.8 FTE in a role suited to their experience and area of study. The trainee will be employed with ultimate aim of progressing into a mainstream position at the conclusion of the traineeship.

4. Strategy principles

In addition to the principles articulated in the Reconciliation Statement and the Policy, the following principles apply for this Strategy.

4.1 Promoting a ‘whole-of-University’ approach to employing Indigenous Australians, who have been traditionally under-represented in the higher education sector.

4.2 Providing employment opportunities to current and future UTS Indigenous Australian students, in academic and non-academic roles.

4.3 Providing opportunities for economic engagement for Indigenous Australians in general UTS business practices.

4.4 Reflecting the following UTS values:

  • support employees to discover their full personal and career potential
  • engage with the Indigenous community to promote UTS as an employer of choice for Indigenous Australians
  • empower the wider Indigenous community through economic engagement
  • deliver responsive, employee-based programs
  • sustain long-term, effective programs by embedding Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy initiatives into processes at UTS.

5. Strategy objectives and initiatives

This Strategy consists of four primary objectives:

  • objective 1: provide equitable employment opportunities for Indigenous candidates
  • objective 2: provide retention and career progression opportunities for existing Indigenous employees at UTS
  • objective 3: develop Indigenous competency amongst non-Indigenous staff.
  • objective 4: increase Indigenous economic engagement.

These four objectives are outlined in the tables below, identifying specific initiatives with identified success indicators for each. These objectives refer to the following:

  • implementation agents: UTS units or individual members of staff (including senior staff) who have a practical responsibility for implementing and/or supporting activities that will lead to the achievement of each success indicator.
  • formal accountability: senior staff (including members of the University’s Senior Executive and faculty/unit managers) who have a strategic accountability and/or ultimate responsibility for the achievement of the success indicator.

The Equity and Diversity Unit will report annually to the Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee on progress of the following objectives and associated initiatives.

Objective 1. Provide equitable employment opportunities for Indigenous candidates

Initiative Success indicator Implementation agents Formal accountability

Implement Indigenous Employment Mandate Scheme

Facilitate increase in applications for and positions held by Indigenous candidates in positions targeted and not targeted as ‘Indigenous specific’ at UTS in professional and academic roles.

Faculties and Graduate School of Health

By 2018, each of the faculties and the Graduate School of Health will have recruited:

  • three full-time equivalent (FTE) professional staff, either directly recruited or appointed through the transitioning of cadets or trainees into FTE positions
  • one Academic of the Future candidate
  • two Indigenous interns
  • one new general academic
  • one academic leader
  • at professorial or associate professorial level.

UTS divisions

By 2018, each of the divisions will have recruited three professional staff.

Leads:

  • Faculty/division leadership
  • Equity and Diversity Unit

Supports:

  • Human Resources Unit
  • Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
  • Provost
  • Deans
  • Associate Deans (Research)
  • Associate Deans (Teaching and Learning)
  • Faculty managers
  • Unit directors
Total commitment by 2018 Academic * Professional
Faculties 40 24
Divisions 0 15
TOTAL (by 2018) 79

* Note: Academics of the Future may progress into the academic internship program, and subsequently into general academic positions.

Objective 2. Provide retention and career progression opportunities for existing Indigenous employees at UTS

Initiative Success indicator Implementation agents Formal accountability
Support Indigenous staff to undertake further education, training and development Increased numbers of Indigenous staff undertaking staff development opportunities in programs in the community, vocational education and training or higher education sectors.

Leads:

  • Faculties
  • Unit managers
  • Equity and Diversity Unit

Supports:

  • Human Resources Unit
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellors
  • Deans
  • Unit directors
Professional and academic staff collegial support programs
  • Development of a database which records Indigenous-themed research taking place across UTS, to promote greater research opportunities for Indigenous researchers.
  • Faculty Managers
  • Research and Innovation Office
  • Associate Deans (Research)
  • Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Provost
  • Deans
  • Indigenous professional staff network meetings to promote collegial mentoring and cross-University information sharing.
  • Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Annual Indigenous professional and academic staff forum to promote skills development and acknowledge excellence in Indigenous research, student support and education.
  • Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Development of an Indigenous academic writing retreat to promote academic skill development.
  • Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Chair, UTS Indigenous Research Committee
Indigenous Staff Network programs Increased participation in Indigenous Staff Network.
  • Indigenous Employment Officer, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Indigenous Staff Network
  • Equity and Diversity Unit

Objective 3. Develop Indigenous competency amongst non-Indigenous staff

Initiative Success indicator Implementation agents Formal accountability
Embed ‘understanding of Indigenous perspectives’ as key element in recruitment of UTS staff
  • Job advertisements and selection criteria state Indigenous commitment
  • Online resources made available to demonstrate UTS commitment to Indigenous employment
  • Question relating to understanding of Indigenous perspectives in interview for senior positions
  • Induction pack with Indigenous content developed for new senior staff (both professional and academic)

Leads:

  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
  • Indigenous Employment Officer, Equity and Diversity Unit

Supports:

  • Director, Human Resources Unit
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)
  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
Embed ‘understanding of Indigenous perspectives’ as key element in core business of UTS Development of communication initiatives to share Indigenous perspectives.

Leads:

  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning

Supports:

  • Director, Marketing and Communications Unit
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)
  • Deans

Objective 4. Increase Indigenous economic engagement

Initiative Success indicator Implementation agents Formal accountability
Embed Indigenous engagement initiatives into major UTS projects
  • Indigenous employment is a key element of tender documents
  • Contractors increasing Indigenous participation in UTS-related business
  • Indigenous employment participation in projects
  • Director, Program Management Office
  • Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources)

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: The Provost is responsible for managing compliance with this Strategy and for initiating the review process.

Implementation Officer: The Director, Equity and Diversity Unit is the primary point of contact for advice on implementing and administrating the Strategy, for establishing and maintaining the official file, for proposing amendments as required, and for managing the consultation process when the Strategy is due for review.

Other positions and committees

Equity and Diversity Unit

The Equity and Diversity Unit is responsible for the day-to-day operational requirements of this Strategy. It is also responsible for preparing an annual report to the Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee on progress toward this Strategy’s objectives and initiatives.

Faculties and divisions

UTS Council sets the annual University-wide KPI targets relating to Indigenous employment. Each faculty and/or division is required to set annual targets and report on progress within its local action and performance plans. Under the Policy, faculties also report annually to the Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Strategies Committee on implementation of the Policy’s objectives (including Indigenous employment).

Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee

The Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation and progression of this Strategy, in accordance with the Policy. The Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee has cross-University representation and reports regularly to the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Strategies Committee, which is the accountability mechanism specified under the Policy.

7. Acknowledgements

Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Final Report (2012)

In 2012, the Federal government conducted a Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The final report was handed down in July 2012.

In addition to recommendations regarding Indigenous participation in higher education, the final report also contained recommendations associated with the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

The final report recommends that increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff should involve key strategies — universities should ‘grow their own’ staff by utilising their students, and should also recruit new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff into the organisation. The final report states that universities will need to consider creative approaches to recruitment and back that up with positive retention strategies to avoid staff attrition.

The development of this Strategy was informed by the final report’s recommendations, particularly Recommendation 29, which states: ‘That universities develop strategies, informed by the National Indigenous Higher Education Workforce Strategy, to recruit, support and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to meet the parity targets set by the Australian government.’

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by (date) Amendment
22/09/2015 1 Vice-Chancellor (17/08/2015) New Strategy.
27/01/2016 1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (21/12/2015) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to update references to the Traditional Owners, following UTS handover of Kuring-gai Campus.