Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt has encouraged Indigenous students to take part in an opportunity to explore a future career in the public sector, with applications closing 23 August.
Up to 70 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students will travel to Canberra for the annual Work Exposure in Government (WEX) program, running in October.
Wyatt said the initiative is a great chance for Indigenous students to see the career pathways in government that are possible for them.
“We want to see more Indigenous Australians working in government and bringing valuable Indigenous experience into policy making and service delivery across all of our departments and agencies,” he said.
“The week includes learning how laws are made, how services are delivered, and more importantly, how Indigenous people can be a part of that.
“Working in government offers long-term, stable employment and a wide variety of options for people to make a real difference in their communities and the country as a whole.”
Participants will meet with ministers and Indigenous Australians working in government, and visit the Australian Defence Force Academy, Australian Federal Police headquarters, and cultural institutions.
The trip also includes a careers expo where students can learn about jobs in a range of government agencies.
Ashlen Foster-Britton, Wiradjuri woman and WEX participant, said the program gave her the tools she needed to get involved with Indigenous policy-making.
“When I was a teenager I was interested in contributing to make the lives of Indigenous Australians better, but I wasn’t sure where I could find information on working in the government,” she said.
“WEX gave me the opportunity and the resources to pursue my passion and was the launching pad to start my career working in Indigenous affairs in the Australian Public Service. It was also a great chance to make some lifelong friends.”
WEX is open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students in years 10, 11 and 12. It runs from 20-25 October, with an optional three day regional placement in early 2020.
Applications are open for students, teachers and support staff until 23 August.