Promoting jobs to Aboriginal applicants

When looking to recruit Aboriginal people you need to target your media strategy effectively.

Media strategy

A media strategy for an Aboriginal audience will need to go beyond the usual outlets to ensure you capture suitable candidates for the job. It may include some of the following:

  • Using local and Aboriginal radio and newspapers such as Koori Mail and National Indigenous Times
  • Aboriginal Units in the Tertiary Sector and TAFE Aboriginal study centres
  • Local Aboriginal cooperatives
  • Community email lists such as the Murri / Koori Grapevine
  • Aboriginal recruitment service providers
  • Mainstream media such as the Sydney Morning Herald, and online job-seeking systems like Career One
  • Positions advertised on E –recruit, JobsNSW and
  • Social media such as twitter and Facebook
  • Recruitment activities such as job fairs and open days
  • Health Professional Journals
  • Aboriginal Health Associations

Other considerations

Be mindful that any media strategy needs to accommodate candidates without access to the internet. This may mean, provision for the mail out of hard copy position information packages along with providing electronic versions. The cost of print media must be carefully considered as recruitment advertising that incurs a cost requires a certificate of compliance. Refer to your local Human Resource team for further information.

tip Tip

Encourage Aboriginal people to apply for jobs by clearly stating in the position information whether a position is Aboriginal identified or targeted.

Capturing the youth market

The median age of an Aboriginal person is 21 years compared with 37 years for non-Aboriginal Australians.

The youth market can be reached through high schools, universities and TAFEs. The Department of Education and Training and Job Services Australia offer youth employment programs such as Australian Apprenticeships and the Compact with Young Australians.

Helpful tips


tip Tip

Community and network-based dispersal of job advertisements and notifications are often the most effective and budget friendly, for example, the Aboriginal / Koori Grapevine.

Engaging with the Aboriginal community

It's also important to use your working relationships in the local Aboriginal community for recruitment as referrals from Aboriginal employees and the community are an important source of talent and, when they are pursued, can assist in building trust and empowerment.

Partner organisations such as your local Aboriginal Medical Service may have reached Aboriginal applicants using channels such as the Koori Grapevine or community email lists which can be powerful and effective.

Effective job advertisements

NSW Health's commitment to workforce diversity and the on-going commitment to improving the health & wellbeing of Aboriginal people should be outlined in job advertisements. For example, it is always good practice, when advertising for Aboriginal applicants, to include if possible - "NSW Health is committed to achieving a diverse workforce and strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people".

An effective job advertisement links to a position information package outlining the essential requirements and selection criteria for the role, including whether a position is Aboriginal identified or targeted. Selection criteria include skills, experience and any essential qualifications, if they are required.

Regardless of the way the vacancy is communicated or applicants identified, the appropriate recruitment and selection process must be followed.

NSW Health Service Aboriginal Health Workers' (State) Award

On 2 September 2015, Commissioner Tabbaa of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission made by consent the NSW Health Service Aboriginal Health Workers' (State) Award. This Award is effective from 2 September 2015 and has replaced the Aboriginal Health Education Officers' Determination (AHEO Determination).

tip Tip

Encourage Aboriginal people to apply for jobs by clearly stating in the position advertisement and supporting information whether a job is Aboriginal identified or targeted.

Use of appropriate language

Download file Communicating Positively - A Guide to Appropriate Aboriginal Terminology

Managers should refer to NSW Health's Communicating Positively – A guide to appropriate Aboriginal terminology for guidance and background information on guidance on appropriate word usage when working with Aboriginal people and communities, and when developing policy and programs to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people. The use of accurate and non-offensive language is an essential component of Aboriginal cultural respect and communication training.

Localised terms such as "Koori", "Murri", language or nation names should be used in specific circumstances so consult with NSW Health Aboriginal Workforce and Cultural Advisers to make sure the terms are used appropriately.

Be clear

reminder Reminder

If working in partnership with a recruitment agency, make sure the agency understands the NSW Health commitment to increasing the Aboriginal workforce and how you would like the attraction and selection processes to operate .


tip Tip

Unless the successful applicant is from the Country where the position will be located they'll still be required to engage the local Aboriginal community in the same way as a non-Aboriginal person.

​Respecting the Difference cultural training

reminder Reminder

Respecting the Difference cultural training is mandatory for all NSW Health employees. Ideally all members of the selection panel should have completed this training prior to their involvement in the selection process.

Word-of-mouth finds local trainees

The story of how word-of-mouth in a local community successfully filled positions. The Local Health District partnered with a local TAFE in providing several Youth Mental Health Worker Traineeships to Aboriginal people.

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NSW Health Careers

A career with NSW Health offers you the opportunity to work for a world class public health system and make a difference to the health of people in NSW now and into the future.

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