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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The NIAA Graduate Program

ONE TEAM - Endless Opportunities
2023 Graduate Program

Applications for the NIAA 2023 Graduate Program have closed.

The NIAA Graduate Program

NIAA Graduate Program - Anna

‘The thing that I’ve enjoyed the most about the NIAA Graduate Program is the range of different opportunities that we get to develop ourselves. Not just as beginning public servants but as people at the start of their professional careers.’ – Anna, NIAA Graduate

Program details

While working across the NIAA in our Graduate Program, you will develop knowledge and understanding of the Agency’s key priorities.

Some key facts about the program:

  • The NIAA Graduate program runs for 12 months.
  • It consists of rotations through various work areas including policy, program delivery and enabling services.
  • You will be based in Canberra, with a potential rotation in one of our metropolitan, regional or remote locations.
  • You will have access to professional and personal development opportunities as well as a dedicated Graduate pastoral care and support program.

Graduate Case Study: Regional Rotation

A NIAA Graduate Program participant in the Broome office

My name is Indi Amaroo Lowe. I am a Peek Whurrong woman from the Maar Nation and I am graduate in the NIAA Graduate Program 2021.

NIAA Graduates have the opportunity to rotate through three placements within the organisation. We have the option to travel to a regional office to complete one of our rotations. NIAA has many regional offices across the country and I have been placed in the Broome Office of the Kimberley Region for my third and final rotation. Today I am travelling to the Derby Office to spend 2 weeks learning about the priorities of the region and gain exposure to the opportunities and challenges remote Aboriginal communities face here in West Kimberley.

I've found that the work in the regional offices is very different to Canberra and often multifaceted. You will often engage with multiple external stakeholders throughout the day, including:

  • service providers to hold a workshop discussing challenges and solutions,
  • community members or organisations seeking support in setting up a program or applying for grant funding,
  • other federal and state government agencies to discuss partnering in the development of a project.

Trip to Derby Office - timeline

6:30am - Get up, head into 33-degree heat and 70% humidity. Sunscreen is a must in the Kimberley.
7:30am - Meet the Broome office Regional Manager who will drive the NIAA 4WD with me. We go over my trip risk management plan and ensure we have the satellite phone.
8am - Grab a coffee, supporting local business over the quiet period, then hit the road.
9am - Dodge some very large cows on the Great Northern Highway to get out of the water from recent rain.
9:30am - Cross the Fitzroy River. No crocs seen today.
10am - Visit the 1,500 year old Boab Prison Tree, (known as Kunumudj), and the historic 120m long cattle trough, Myalls Bore.
10:30am - Arrive at Derby and visit the Derby Jetty.
11am - Arrive at NIAA Derby office. The Regional Manager is briefed on the latest news and work in Derby and Fitzroy Crossing.
11:30am - Log on. I am currently drafting correspondence for the Minister for Indigenous Australians in response to Derby residents concerned with escalating youth crime.
1pm - Break for lunch at a locally owned and operated Aboriginal café.
2pm - Call staff around the Kimberley Region to discuss the outcomes of the ‘deep-dive’ with the Minister regarding youth crime.
2:30pm - Attend a Families & Safety Branch Policy Workshop to discuss the assessment of Indigenous Advancement Strategy programs.
3:30pm - Investigate youth education and diversionary programs delivered in the region, to prepare for another ‘deep-dive’ briefing for the Minister.
5pm - Check in at the Derby Lodge.
6pm - Dinner at one of the few establishments open due to the wet season.
7pm - Head back to the hotel. Tomorrow I am meeting with a Traditional Owner to discuss how NIAA can support them starting up their own business.

Possible rotations

‘Since joining the NIAA Graduate Program I’ve set up a new life in a new city, I’ve taken charge of my career in a way that allows me to be the decision maker for what interests me, what drives me. The Graduate Program really allowed me to get a full range of opportunities that’s really informed my decision about my career.’ - Isabelle, 2021 NIAA Graduate

As a graduate, you will have the opportunity to work on some of our key priorities, including:

  • working within the Empowerment and Recognition Branch on an Indigenous Voice, Constitutional Recognition or Empowered Committees
  • contributing to important policy and programs in areas such as employment, education and youth, health and wellbeing, housing, business and economics
  • analysing the Closing the Gap targets and working on important implementation plans
  • working in the Legal Services Branch making a difference on Land and Public Law (this may contribute to your PLT requirements)
  • determining eligibility for various government grants in the dynamic Grants Management Unit
  • collating data to support the evaluation of high profile initiatives such as the Indigenous Rangers and Protected Areas programs, the Indigenous Cadetship Program, the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing or the Employment Parity Initiative.
  • working in our enabling functions such as Corporate or Organisational Performance and Change Group in areas such as finance, human resources, communications, governance, compliance and fraud control and cultural change.