3rd National Indigenous Career Advancement Forum

Effective training strategies to facilitate the development of Indigenous talent

  • May 28th - 31st, 2019
  • Melbourne Marriott Hotel


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- Design & maintain effective career services
- Innovate your learning delivery
- Create a culture of inclusivity
- Gain recognition as an employer of choice


Mark Kucks

For nearly two decades, Mark has been involved in the development of policies and strategies that drive Indigenous economic participation. He has a strong background in vocational education and training, including the apprenticeship and traineeship system, as well as excellent industry linkages, particularly in the resources and construction sectors. His life's ambition is to continually improve the livelihoods of his fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Indigenous Program Manager
Hutchinson Builders

  • Ali Jalayer
    Branch Manager, Specialist Programmes Branch, Youth and Programmes Group
    Department of Jobs and Small Business
  • Fiona MacDonald
    Senior Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Flexibility
  • Jacqui Bainbridge
    Senior Manager, Social Responsibility
    Toll Group
  • Rory Smeaton
    Aboriginal Employment and Skills Manager
    Level Crossing Removal Project


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Download the brochure
Is your organisation culturally competent? Develop organisational appreciation for Indigenous culture to enhance productivity and boost business growth
Support Indigenous staff to pursue their professional potential
Develop effective career services that enhance employment outcomes
Evolve your recruitment strategies
Harness the strengths of the individual
Create synergy between your organisation and the community
What can your organisation do to engage at school level?
A story of success from Snap Underwood
Be recognised as an employer of choice by Indigenous Australians
Develop your Indigenous employment outcomes
Facilitate career advancement in your organisation
Key strategies for Indigenous engagement and long-term progression
Organisational cross-cultural training to enable sustainable career progression
Pathways to sustainable and meaningful careers
Overcome barriers to sustainable career progression for Indigenous employees
Pre-Summit Workshop

28 May


Learn how to improve collaboration, diversity of thought, productivity and organisational effectiveness by building successful partnerships with Indigenous communities and people.

Create successful engagement and participation across your organisation

- Understand how cultural awareness contributes to continual business growth

- Promote effective leadership to drive Indigenous initiatives

- Normalise diversity and inclusion into your organisation’s DNA

Develop a culturally competent workplace that supports your organisational values

- Embrace an organisation-wide understanding of Indigenous culture

- Manage and promote cross-cultural conversations

- Design and maintain a values-based culture

Successful approaches to Indigenous Cultural Awareness

- Build sustainable partnerships with the community 

- Enhance cultural competency through internal and external skills training

- Promote knowledge transfer cross-culturally to accelerate productivity

Manage potential blockers

- Manage personal and professional morale in potentially challenging environments

- Get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations when needed

- Identify and develop strategies to handle potential roadblocks

Summit Day 1

29 May

Case Study

When it comes to Indigenous career advancement, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Learn how to stay true to your company values, gain buy-in and earn a credible reputation.

- Understand your organisation's commitment to Indigenous Australians

- Abandon the one-size-fits-all approach

- Create a culture of continual growth

  • Mark Kucks Indigenous Program Manager Hutchinson Builders

Case Study

Succession plans are fundamental to the development of Indigenous employees, but they need to be accompanied by powerful training opportunities. Here how Rory has successfully created, developed and maintained career services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

- Innovate your professional training

- Upskill Indigenous staff through job rotation and secondment opportunities

- Effectively design, maintain and follow career pathways

  • Rory Smeaton Aboriginal Employment and Skills Manager Level Crossing Removal Project

Case Study

Indigenous career advancement starts with effective Talent Acquisition. Learn the best strategies for sourcing and encouraging Indigenous Australians through your door.

- Demonstrate best practice and candidate care

- Move from 'do you have experience?' to 'can you do the job?'

- Circulate job ads to Indigenous community networks

Case Study

Through initiatives such as shadowing senior managers, external training, and strategic employment placements, you can ensure Indigenous Australians are receiving the right training to take the next step in their careers.

- Provide potential pathways through shadowing and trialing

- Explore external training

- Invest in your Indigenous employees

  • Sean Armistead General Manager, Indigenous & Community Engagement Chairman of Ganbina, Board Member Kinaway Aboriginal CCI Sodexo Australia


Building positive partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community are a prerequisite for success. Our panel of experts will discuss strategies for building respectful relationships with the community.

- Build strong partnerships with the community through investment and support

- The value of stakeholder engagement

- Commit to a long-term investment in strengthening communities

  • Mark Kucks Indigenous Program Manager Hutchinson Builders

  • Isaac Harrison Founder & Director Bunjil Energy

  • Marc Bennie General Manager, Indigenous Programs & Community Investment AccorHotels

  • Paul Paton Manager, Aboriginal Partnerships & Engagement Support Unit Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Case Study

Indigenous training starts at any time or level, but reaching out to the local school and educational services will help promote training, work experience and employment opportunities. Consequently, this will have a positive effect on Indigenous career advancement.

- Promote employment opportunities to Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander students

- Engage with the local schools in your community

- Design work experience opportunities to suit all levels of employees

  • Kellie Jones Indigenous Corporate Business Development, Engagement & Capacity Building Officer Bendigo TAFE, Kangan Institute

  • Troy Robbins Manager, Regional Stakeholder Relations & Communications Bendigo TAFE, Kangan Institute

  • Lynette O'Connell Team Leader, Project Coordinator, Indigenous Education Bendigo TAFE, Kangan Institute

Case Study

Karen began in production at Snap 15 years ago. She worked her way up to centre management and is now a franchise owner. Karen will share how she engages the community, supports Aboriginal employment and provides mentoring and training to Indigenous staff.

- Use business to empower the local community

- Consider pre-employment training and internships

- Passion and hard work as traits for success

Summit Day 2

30 May

Case Study

Diversity strengthens your business' wealth of knowledge, skills and experience. Hear how to attract Indigenous employees and develop effective strategies to make your organisation an employer of choice.

- Develop meaningful relationships with your teams, local Elders and community organisations

- Build and manage sustainable stakeholder relationships

- Implement culturally appropriate strategies throughout your organisation

  • Annette (Wood) Lamb General Manager, Aboriginal Programs & Strategy Ability Options

Case Study

Attracting, developing and retaining skilled Indigenous employees enhances organisations and is essential to retaining a culturally diverse workforce. Hear from Ali Jalayer, of the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Businesses as he shares his insights.

-Effectively support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees

-Create an inclusive work environment and grow and foster its Indigenous workforce

-Support Indigenous Australians to prepare and look for work through employment service programs.

  • Ali Jalayer Branch Manager, Specialist Programmes Branch, Youth and Programmes Group Department of Jobs and Small Business

Expert Commentary

Many organisations recognise the need to put employees’ professional development at the heart of company policy. Learn the most effective ways to support your workforce in reaching their career potential.

- Create sustainable succession planning programs

- Remind employees of their unique contributions to the team

- Take a proactive approach to your team’s wellbeing


A diverse workplace creates a positive and productive environment for all employees to succeed. Explore essential strategies to ensure long-term progression for Indigenous employees.

- Ensure the training and development needs of Indigenous employees are addressed

- Provide an opportunity for learning and development qualification courses

- Increase capability through development opportunities across your organisation

  • Fiona MacDonald Senior Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Flexibility ANZ

  • Jacqui Bainbridge Senior Manager, Social Responsibility Toll Group

  • Chris Bonney Indigenous Relations Adviser Cushman & Wakefield

  • Sharni Wearne Culture & Inclusion Lead Medibank

  • Joe Murfet Senior Project Officer, Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy Implementation Department of Jobs, Precincts & Regions

Case Study

Providing your organisation with techniques to improve and strengthen cross-cultural understanding is a secure investment for your organisation that will bolster overall governance.

- Enhance cultural competency through professional development opportunities

- Use a variety of initiatives to engage staff

- Create a workplace environment that understands, supports and promotes Indigenous culture

  • Chris Bonney Indigenous Relations Adviser Cushman & Wakefield


This interactive roundtable session will give you the opportunity to reflect on the previous two days and form an action plan for your return to work.

- Become an active agent for Indigenous advancement

- Provide support frameworks for long-term advancement

- Create an action plan

  • Dixie Crawford Managing Director Source Nation

Post-Summit Workshop

31 May


Explore the ways in which your organisation can provide effective solutions to the challenges surrounding sustainable career progression for your Indigenous workforce.

Empower your organisation to make changes towards reconciliation

- Use evidence-based strategies and initiatives to build on your organisation’s existing work

- Promote the voice of Indigenous Australians within your organisation

- Initiate, leverage and drive transformation

Retention and development of Indigenous talent

- Secondment opportunities that are effective and yield positive long-term results

- Accelerate progress through mentoring and training at all stages of the career journey

- Consider development in remote employment services 

Cultural responsiveness and inclusion

- Promote respect for the centrality of culture

- Create a culture of responsibility and accountability

- Ensure all Indigenous employees feel respected and valued

Accentuate and accelerate natural leadership strengths

- Develop career pathways 

- Design effective succession plans that are maintained and followed

- Provide support frameworks for long-term advancement 


Melbourne Marriott Hotel

Corner Exhibition and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

03 9662 3900

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