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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Skills and Employment Program (ISEP)

The Indigenous Skills and Employment Program (ISEP) is about connecting First Nations people to jobs, career advancement opportunities, and to new training and job-ready activities.

In supporting organisations to design activities with community before implementing them, ISEP leverages the distinct strengths and interests of local First Nations communities and employers.

Complementing (but not duplicating) mainstream employment services, ISEP-funded activities will reflect regional priorities that have been identified by the NIAA but guided by local knowledge. In this way, activities funded through ISEP will make an impact where it is most needed.

ISEP is consistent with the aims of the Closing the Gap Agreement and especially priority reform 3, which seeks a transformation in the way government operates – including by delivering services in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Organisations supported through ISEP funding are supported to design projects and activities with the local community that will benefit from them.

ISEP Design

The ISEP’s design draws on thorough consultations with community that took place in August and September 2021 – as well as Australian and international research. You can read more about the work that went into designing ISEP by reading the ISEP Consultation Outcomes Report.

ISEP Grant selection process

The ISEP grant opportunity is a two stage competitive process. Stage One closed April 2022.

Successful Stage One applicants are published on GrantConnect.

Below is a list of 62 Stage One organisations who have funding agreements in place to undertake their design phase with community to develop their detailed ISEP proposal. This list will be updated once the remaining funding agreements are finalised.

ISEP Stage One successful organisations as at 11 January 2023

Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt

  • North East Arnhem Land Aboriginal Corporation
  • The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation
  • Compass Group (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Crest Nt Pty Ltd
  • Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation
  • West Arnhem Regional Council

Central Australia

  • Group Training Australia Limited
  • Rise-Ngurratjuta Pty Ltd
  • Enterprise Management Group Pty Ltd
  • Central Desert Training Pty Ltd
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia Ltd

Eastern New South Wales

  • Bara Barang Corporation Ltd
  • Aboriginal Employment Strategy Limited
  • Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation
  • Connect Northern Rivers Incorporated
  • Youth Express Association Incorporated
  • Twofold Aboriginal Corp

Greater Western Australia

  • Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation
  • Carey Training Pty Ltd
  • Southern Aboriginal Corp
  • Waalitj Foundation Limited
  • Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Real Futures Pty Ltd
  • Ngare Employment Solutions Pty Ltd


  • Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited
  • East Kimberley Job Pathways Pty Ltd
  • Madjulla Association
  • Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation

North Queensland

  • On Common Country Pty Ltd
  • Cape York Employment Pty Ltd
  • Jobfind Centres Austrlia Pty Ltd

South Australia

  • Career Employment Group Incorporated
  • Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation
  • Syc Ltd
  • Megt (Australia) Ltd
  • Maxima Training Group (Aust) Limited
  • Pitjantjatjarra Yankunytjatjara Education Committee Aboriginal Corporation
  • Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation

South Queensland

  • Resq Plus Pty. Ltd
  • Accoras Limited
  • The Trustee For Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Peoples Charitable Trust
  • Indigenous Workstars Pty Ltd
  • Institute For Urban Indigenous Health Ltd
  • The Preston Campbell Foundation Limited

Top End Tiwi Islands

  • Group Training Australia Limited
  • Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation
  • Tiwi Training & Employment Pty Ltd
  • Nyirrunggulung-Rise Pty Ltd
  • Saltbush Social Enterprises Limited

Victoria And Tasmania

  • Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation
  • Brumby Hill Aboriginal Corporation
  • Latrobe City Council
  • Bendigo And District Aboriginal Co-Operative Ltd
  • Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Co-Operative Ltd
  • First Peoples Training Institute Pty Ltd
  • Afl Sports Ready Limited
  • Goal Indigenous Services Vic Pty Ltd
  • Land And Sea Aboriginal Corporation Tasmania

Western New South Wales

  • On-Country Pathways Ltd
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia Ltd
  • Bamara Pty. Ltd.
  • Bourke & District Children's Services

Stage One

To take part in ISEP, organisations needed to demonstrate their capacity to design activities with First Nations communities to deliver culturally appropriate employment services. As part of the application process, organisations also needed to demonstrate:

  • their ability to build the capacity of First Nations organisations;
  • a track record in delivering employment related activities in collaboration with others;
  • their knowledge on the needs and aspirations of First Nations jobseekers, and;
  • that their efforts would align with the priorities of the regions they are targeting.

Following a competitive assessment process, successful organisations are provided with seed funding to support them in designing activities with their community. This is Stage One.

This Stage helps make sure the project an organisation wants to run will be fit for purpose – and that their project will reflect the wants and needs of the community the project will benefit.

Stage Two

After the community design phase has started in Stage One, participating organisations are invited to apply for funding to implement the project they have designed with their community. This is a competitive process, and participating organisations will need to:

  • develop a detailed plan of activities that clearly align with the relevant ISEP Regional Priorities;
  • provide details of their proposed activities and demonstrate their capacity to successfully deliver the activities, adequately managing risk and measuring their effectiveness in achieving ISEP objectives; and
  • demonstrate they have appropriately engaged in and completed the community design process.

Once applicants are invited, the full selection criteria will be available in the ISEP Grant Opportunity Guidelines through GrantConnect.


ISEP is about partnership: participating organisations stand to benefit from the sharing of local knowledge, while jobseekers will be better off because the activities that ISEP will support will better fit their circumstances.

In order to help participating organisations connect with each other, an ISEP Partnership Register (XLSX 68 KB) has been developed.

If you would like to register your organisation’s interest in partnering with an ISEP-participating organisation, then you can register your interest.  

Empowered Communities

The Commonwealth Government is committed to a partnership approach to regional planning and investment with the Empowered Communities regions of East and West Kimberley, Central Coast NSW, Cape York, Inner Sydney, North East Arnhem Land, Ngarrindjeri in SA, Far West Coast of South Australia, the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, and Goulburn-Murray.

Where a Stage One application targeted or included an Empowered Communities region, Empowered Community representatives were invited to participate in the assessment process with NIAA.

The Empowered Communities model is a First Nations designed and led shared decision making initiative that places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in true partnership with the Australian Government. For further information on the Empowered Communities regions see

ISEP delivery targeting or including Empowered Communities must demonstrate shared decision making in the community design phase and an ongoing commitment for the project duration.

Further information

For more information about the ISEP, you can contact the ISEP team at


  • ISEP Consultations and Discussion Paper – Findings report
  • Indigenous skills and employment Program (ISEP) Discussion Paper

For all enquiries please contact

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