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Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2019–2023

Acknowledgement of Country

Statement of commitment to Indigenous employment

Purpose and strategic alignment

Guiding principles

Strategic objectives

Strategic initiatives and key success indicators

Strategy monitoring, ownership and evaluation

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References


1. Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

Refer also to the Guiding Principles for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country (PDF).

2. Statement of commitment to Indigenous employment

UTS has a longstanding commitment to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage in employment and education.

To demonstrate this commitment, UTS has had an affirmative action employment strategy called the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy since 1993. This 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) (now the Indigenous Policy) was established to realise the sentiments and commitments contained in the UTS Reconciliation Statement.

To implement the initiatives outlined in the policy, the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2011–2014 was developed. The 2011–2014 strategy was successful in increasing the number of positions in both academic and professional roles through innovative and flexible approaches that provided opportunities for new and existing Indigenous staff.

This success was enhanced under the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2015–2018, which saw further increases in the number of positions that have been filled by Indigenous staff, specifically in academic roles and at senior management.

3. Purpose and strategic alignment

3.1 The purpose of the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2019–2023 (the strategy) is to ensure that UTS has the Indigenous capability to achieve its high-level and ambitious strategic objective to position itself as a world-leading university in Indigenous education and research by 2023.

In pursuing this objective, the aim and expectation is that additional employment opportunities and economic engagement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff will increase across UTS.

Indigenous employment target

3.2 For the 2019–2023 strategy, UTS has set the Indigenous employment target at three per cent full-time equivalent (FTE) continuing/fixed-term to be achieved by 2023.

The target aligns with the requirements in the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017 and the Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017–2020.

4. Guiding principles

In addition to the principles articulated in the Reconciliation Statement and the policy, under this strategy UTS will:

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

4.2 create employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians across the full range and level of positions in academic, research, professional and senior management

4.3 provide employment opportunities to current and future UTS Indigenous Australian students, in academic and non-academic roles

4.4 provide opportunities for economic engagement for Indigenous Australians in general UTS business practices

4.5 reflect the following UTS values:

  • support staff 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. Strategic objectives

This strategy consists of five primary strategic objectives:

5.1 ensure UTS has the professional and academic capability to achieve its high-level and ambitious Indigenous strategic objectives and aims

5.2 provide equitable employment opportunities for Indigenous candidates at all levels across all areas of the university

5.3 provide retention and career progression opportunities for existing Indigenous staff members at UTS

5.4 develop Indigenous competency among non-Indigenous staff

5.5 increase Indigenous economic engagement.

6. Strategic initiatives and key success indicators

The following strategic initiatives will assist UTS in meeting the objectives detailed in section 5 above, which in turn achieves the set Indigenous employment target.

6.1 Achieve three per cent (FTE) continuing/fixed-term Indigenous employment across UTS by 2023

6.2 Create, maintain and support cross-UTS Indigenous leadership

6.3 Engage in international recruitment of Indigenous Australians

6.4 Ensure an employment environment that contributes to the wellbeing and retention of Indigenous staff

6.5 Foster Indigenous staff connection and community

6.6 Support the professional development and career advancement of Indigenous staff

6.7 Increase non-Indigenous staff capability across UTS

6.8 Maximise indirect Indigenous employment

6.9 Ensure data accuracy for reporting on Indigenous staff statistics

6.10 Faculty Indigenous staff employment planning

Progression of these strategic initiatives is guided by the key success indicators detailed in the table below, which also notes the UTS senior staff who have formal accountability for specific initiatives and their success.

Key success indicators and formal accountability

Key success indicator Formal accountability
6.1 Achieve three per cent (FTE) continuing/fixed-term Indigenous employment across UTS by 2023 (objectives 5.1 and 5.2)

6.1.1 Faculty targets

  1. Faculties are to contribute to the overall UTS achievement of this target by achieving (at least) the following employment targets for continuing/fixed-term appointments*:
    • one (FTE) Indigenous academic level D/E
    • three (FTE) Indigenous academics at a range of levels
    • three (FTE) Indigenous professional staff.
  2. As a guide, the following expectations should be taken into consideration in pursuing the above targets:
    • annual incremental improvements should be achieved leading up to 2023
    • the majority of Indigenous staff should be in ongoing employment
    • as much as possible, a gender balance should be achieved (noting that a rare employment opportunity should not be impeded based on a broader gender imbalance)
    • faculties should seek to offer continuing/fixed-term fractional employment as academics to a number of Indigenous higher degree research (HDR) and other postgraduate students by way of the Indigenous Academic Development Program; and to a number of undergraduate students as cadets or trainees, over the period of the strategy, with a view to the maintenance of a pipeline of potential academic staff as well as professional staff
    • agility and flexibility are encouraged regarding some appointments.
  3. Given the highly competitive nature of Indigenous employment, deans are encouraged to make use of direct employment in relation to suitably qualified Indigenous people and should feel comfortable making appointments at levels that may not reflect present achievement, but take into consideration likely promotional trajectory. (Noting that this is already possible through the university’s Recruitment and Appointment Vice-Chancellor’s Directive.)
* The intention is to increase continuing/fixed-term Indigenous employment participation, but taking into account the size and nature of the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation these targets are negotiable with the PVC (ILE).
  • Provost
  • DVC (Corporate Services)
  • Director HRU
  • PVC (ILE)
  • Deans

6.1.2 Divisional targets

All divisions are to achieve three per cent (FTE) continuing/fixed-term Indigenous employment.
  • Provost
  • all DVCs
  • Director HRU
  • PVC (ILE)

6.1.3 Indigenous employment programs

  1. Cadets: Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research will maximise employment opportunities for a number of Indigenous students as continuing/fixed-term cadets during their final year of undergraduate study or if enrolled in a UTS honours program. The purpose being to encourage students to consider further study and an academic or professional career at UTS.
  2. Indigenous Academic Development Program: Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, in conjunction with UTS faculties and other academic units, will provide opportunities to maximise employment of Indigenous HDR and other postgraduate students as continuing/fixed-term who wish to progress to employment as an academic at UTS.
  • Provost
  • Director HRU
  • PVC (ILE)
6.2 Create, maintain and support cross-UTS Indigenous leadership positions (objectives 5.1 and 5.2)

6.2.1 Provision for Indigenous senior executive position

To ensure cross-UTS Indigenous leadership at the highest level is maintained and supported, provide for the employment of at least one Indigenous person as a senior executive employee at the level of Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, or equivalent level.
  • Vice-Chancellor

6.2.2 Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement)

  1. Given the university’s Indigenous education and research ambitions, and to assist deans in achieving their Indigenous strategic responsibilities, all faculties are to appoint an Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) by 2023. This will be a fractional role with appointment at senior staff levels as continuing/fixed-term.
  2. Those faculties able to do so should appoint as soon as possible.
  3. Appointments should be in line with the centrally created position description (PD) with incumbents having a direct reporting line to the dean and a secondary reporting line to the PVC (ILE).
  • Provost
  • Deans
  • PVC (ILE)
6.3 Engage in international recruitment of Indigenous Australians (objectives 5.1 and 5.2)

6.3.1 Support of and recruitment of Indigenous scholars internationally

Work with Aurora Education Foundation (as per the UTS/Aurora memorandum of understanding (MOU)) to identify and, if appropriate, financially support Australian Indigenous postgraduate and HDR students who have expressed a wish to work at UTS on graduation or at an agreed and reasonable time after graduation.
  • Provost
  • Deans
  • PVC (ILE) / Director JIIER
6.4 Ensure an employment environment that contributes to the wellbeing and retention of Indigenous staff (objective 5.3)

6.4.1 Monitor the environment

  1. Ensure that the university has an environment that contributes to Indigenous recruitment and retention and the health and wellbeing of Indigenous staff in the workplace.
  2. Provide information to Indigenous staff on access to the university’s provisions for cultural leave and flexibility of work environments to meet cultural needs.
  • Provost
  • DVC (Corporate Services)
  • PVC (ILE)
  • Director HRU
6.5 Foster Indigenous staff connection and community (objective 5.3)

6.5.1 Indigenous staff network

Through the Indigenous staff network, create opportunities for staff to connect.
  • Provost
  • PVC (ILE)

6.5.2 Indigenous professoriate

Maximise opportunities for the Indigenous professoriate to stay connected, supported and supportive of the Indigenous Policy.
  • Provost
  • PVC (ILE)
6.6 Support Indigenous staff professional development and career advancement (objective 5.3)

6.6.1 Indigenous Academic Professional Development Fund

  1. Fund academic development and career advancement opportunities.
  2. Support opportunities that align with UTS academic staff promotional criteria by encouraging use of the Indigenous Academic Professional Development Fund, overseen by the Manager, Indigenous Employment.
  • Provost
  • PVC (ILE)

6.6.2 Aurora development initiative

  1. Internally promote and jointly fund (as per the UTS/Aurora MoU) opportunities for overseas development for senior professional and academic staff.
  2. Provide information to senior Indigenous staff to apply for the Aurora executive bursary program.
  • Provost
  • PVC (ILE)

6.6.3 Professional staff development and career advancement

Faculties and divisions are to maximise opportunities for Indigenous professional staff to engage in internal and external professional development that will provide increased career advancement opportunities.
  • Provost
  • All DVCs
  • All deans
  • PVC (ILE)
6.7 Increase non-Indigenous staff capability across UTS (objective 5.4)

6.7.1 Online induction

Engage UTS staff with an online induction that sets out the UTS Indigenous commitment and introduces some of the priorities, key people and units within UTS.
  • Provost
  • DVC (Corporate Services)
  • PVC (ILE)
  • Director HRU

6.7.2 Senior Leadership Group

One hundred per cent Senior Leadership Group engagement within a range of Indigenous capability building experiences.
  • Provost
  • DVC (Corporate Services)
  • PVC (ILE)
  • Director HRU

6.7.3 Additional voluntary experiences

Identify and promote additional voluntary Indigenous capability development experiences for staff across UTS.
  • Provost
  • PVC (ILE)
6.8 Maximise indirect Indigenous staff employment (objective 5.5)

6.8.1 Capital works employment

Maximise employment opportunities for Indigenous people in relation to UTS’s capital works plan through contractual requirements.
  • Provost
  • DVC (Resources)
6.9 Ensure data accuracy (objectives 5.1–5.4)

6.9.1 Systems and procedures

  1. Ensure UTS has the systems and procedures in place to achieve data accuracy in relation to Indigenous employment.
  2. Ensure UTS has the systems and procedures in place to achieve data accuracy in relation to developing Indigenous competency among UTS staff.
  • Provost
  • DVC (Corporate Services)
  • PVC (ILE)
  • Director HRU
  • Director PQU
6.10 Faculty Indigenous staff employment planning (objectives 5.1–5.5)

6.10.1 Faculty Indigenous employment plans

All faculties are to develop multi-year (2019–2023) action plans, setting out how the above Indigenous employment aims will be achieved. These are to be developed in consultation with the PVC (ILE) and the Manager, Indigenous Employment.
  • Provost
  • All deans
  • PVC (ILE)

7. Strategy monitoring, ownership and evaluation

The following individuals and committees have primary responsibility and accountability for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2019–2023.

7.1 Strategy owner

The Provost is responsible for managing compliance with the strategy and for initiating the review process.

7.2 Strategy contact and implementation officer

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) (PVC (ILE)) is the primary point of contact for advice on implementing and administering 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.

7.3 Others

Faculties and divisions

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

Manager, Indigenous Employment

The Manager, Indigenous Employment is responsible for the day-to-day operational requirements of this strategy, on behalf of the PVC (ILE). The Manager, Indigenous Employment is also responsible for preparing an annual report to the Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee on progression of the strategy’s objectives, initiatives and key success indicators.

Social Justice and Inclusion Committee

The Social Justice and Inclusion Committee (a committee of the Vice-Chancellor) reviews the university’s social justice performance against current objectives in light of the data reported in the relevant university and statutory reporting requirements.

Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee

The Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation and progression of this strategy, in accordance with the Indigenous Policy. In line with the policy, the committee reports regularly to the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Strategies Committee.

8. Definitions

The following definitions apply for the purposes of the strategy. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Cadet means an Indigenous undergraduate student in their final year of a Bachelor degree, or entering into an honours program, and selected on the basis of their potential to progress into graduate studies at honours level or as a HDR candidate. The cadet will work up to a 0.4 FTE (two days a week) on a professional or academic contract and will mentor and tutor other undergraduate degree Indigenous students as well as take on a research activity within Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research or in another UTS unit/department/faculty, as relevant to their area of study.

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

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (International)
  • 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)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Innovation and Enterprise).

Faculty academic leader means an Indigenous staff appointment at level D (associate professor) or level E (professor). The appointment is to specifically progress Indigenous knowledges and perspectives within faculties and to provide leadership in Indigenous teaching, learning, research and engagement. These academic leadership positions can be titled as associate dean (Indigenous leadership and engagement), director, deputy director or industry director, although not limited to these titles only.

Formal accountability means 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 key success indicator.

Indigenous Academic Development Program is the program through which an Indigenous HDR or postgraduate student is employed as an academic at UTS.

The student is selected on the basis of their suitability to progress into a career as an academic member of staff. Ideally, an HDR student will need to have passed ‘Stage 1 Milestone — Confirmation of Candidature’ to be eligible for appointment. The student will work as an academic to a 0.4 FTE (two days a week) academic contract for the duration of their PhD or Masters by Research or postgraduate coursework. The student will be employed as an academic in a faculty or other academic unit or Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and will have the opportunity to teach and/or undertake research, depending on the faculty’s requirements and/or the research student’s professional and discipline interests, where relevant; and to mentor other Indigenous students.

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 (four days a week) role suited to their experience and area of study. The trainee will be employed with the ultimate aim of progressing into a mainstream position at the conclusion of the traineeship.

Approval information

Strategy contact Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement)
Approval authority Vice-Chancellor
Review date 2023
File number UR19/1509
Superseded documents Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2015–2018 (UR15/1190)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Vice-Chancellor 06/03/2019 06/03/2019 New strategy
1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit (Delegation 3.14.1) 04/09/2019 28/10/2019 New acknowledgement of country wording and minor editorial amendments.
1.2 Director, Governance Support Unit (Delegation 3.14.1) 12/10/2020 19/10/2020 Minor amendment to faculty targets.

PDF version

Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2019–2023 (PDF)

References

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 these 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’.

Indigenous Student Assistance Grant Guidelines 2017

In 2017, the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017 were issued by the authority of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs for the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth). These guidelines provided a framework to deal with the Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) grants under Part 2–2A of the Act.

The guidelines specify ISSP grant eligibility requirements and conditions that must be met by the university. Through the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy 2019–2023, UTS meets the requirements of the guidelines in reference to an Indigenous Workforce Strategy (as set out in clause 12).

Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017–2020

In 2017, Universities Australia (UA) committed to implementing the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017. Under its Indigenous Strategy 2017–2020, UA is developing workforce strategies. This strategy referred to the targets and approaches outlined in the larger strategy as part of its goal setting.

References in the strategy

Aurora Education Foundation

Guiding Principles for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth)

Indigenous Academic Development Program

Indigenous Policy

Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017

Recruitment and Appointment Vice-Chancellor’s Directive

Schedule 1, Student Rules

Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017–2020

UTS Reconciliation Statement

Wingara Indigenous Employment Committee