Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Australia Post building Indigenous employment opportunities

Twenty years of commitment to Indigenous employment by Australia Post demonstrates that corporate Australia has a crucial role to play in bringing Indigenous Australians into the mainstream economy.

In 1988, Australia Post’s Indigenous workforce was 35. Today it numbers 600 and the organisation has launched its sixth Indigenous Employment and Business Strategy which will see 100 traineeships offered to Year 11 and 12 school students.

Some better-known Australia Post alumni have included Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman who, through the Foundation she established, works to mentor and support young Indigenous people.

Another former Australia Post employee is Belinda Jakiel – a teacher, former elite athlete and ambassador for beyondblue. She is now national project manager with AFL Sportsready.

Under Australia Post’s latest Indigenous employment strategy, 100 school-to-work traineeships will encourage Year 10 students to finish Year 12 while working part-time with the prospect of full-time employment when they finish school.

The support of corporate Australia through initiatives like these is essential if we are to meet our target to halve the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes within a decade.

Across Australia, the corporate sector is signing up to ambitious Indigenous targets.

Fortescue Metals CEO, Andrew Forrest, has established the Australian Employment Covenant to encourage employers to provide job opportunities for 50,000 Indigenous Australians.

The Government will support this commitment with appropriate pre-employment training.

The Australian Government recognises that Indigenous participation in the mainstream economy through real jobs is essential for closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.