Program to attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
An initiative to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees throughout Goodstart Early Learning has been so successful, the program is about to be expanded.
In just six months, 13 Goodstart Centres involved in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educator Engagement Community of Practice, established in February this year, have offered employment to six Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander educators, and offered two students placements.
Four centres have published their Reconciliation Actions plans, with all starting their RAP journey. And all 13 centres have formed new partnerships within their community, including women’s groups, yarning circles and local elders.
Goodstart’s workplace pathways, partnerships and diversity manager Simone Miller said a further seven to 10 new centres would soon join the Community of Practice (CoP).
“The CoP is focused on attracting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators to Goodstart, strengthening the cultural safety of our centres, building stronger community relationships and partnerships, and increasing employment pathways and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Miller said.
“By strengthening our workforce and creating environments which provide a strong sense of belonging, we aim to also increase participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in our centres.”
Ms Miller said the 13 centres had been doing some great work which had allowed the program to expand.
“We’ve seen some really great outcomes including commissioning Indigenous artists in our centres, and displaying their work, introducing in centre cultural liaison roles, securing funding and grants to build indigenous resources, and participation in community projects,” Ms Miller said.
“And now, we’re expanding and introducing buddy centres to build momentum in the program. By the end of the year we will have in place, 20 centres taking part, each with a buddy centre, mirroring and engaging in similar work.”
Ms Miller said she was excited the program would continue to raise awareness and strengthen Goodstart’s cultural knowledge and understanding as an organisation.
“The opportunity to support centres engage within their local communities and build employment pathways and opportunities is exciting as it means this work will gain greater momentum. We have already witnessed this in a short period of time the CoP has been meeting.”
Centres selected to participate in the CoP have been chosen because of their demonstrated commitment to supporting and embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
“The CoP has allowed Goodstart to harness their collective knowledge, experience and insights about their local communities, and build resources to support other centres wanting to provide similar indigenous employment programs, pathways and opportunities.”
Goodstart Early Learning is highly committed to its reconciliation action journey and will release its Stretch RAP later this year.