Well, I'm Wil Ivinson from Wakka Wakka Country, which is up around the Gayndah Region. And yeah I've been public servant for over 26 years. I've been in TMR for about 2 1/2 years now, almost 3.
Kinda complex question, this one a little bit.
There’s probably a whole range of aspects that need to be looked at in relation to recruitment of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people from not just the offerings that we have of entry pathways, which is just getting your foot in the door with traineeships, grads those sorts of things, but also how we provide an opportunity to engage and grow careers once they're here, but also, how do we get people into the front door that are at higher levels? And that's been a big challenge for the public sector across a number of years now.
So what we try and do with TMR at the moment is we've changed the way we worded a lot of our role descriptions, so using very neutral kind of language, simple language, simplistic forms for recruitment, and what that does is it actually tells people exactly what our job is about, what the job is going to do and that allows people out in the community to actual and go well whether or not I want to do that role.
Since I've come on board is we’ve redesigned cultural capability itself. So we're actually looking to engage more with traditional owners to provide the protocol training back to TMR staff. So as an example, we've taken, taken our graduates. We've taken senior leaders to Minjerribah or Stradbroke Island as people know it. They've gone out on country there with the elders and learnt not just about what the country shows, but about the impact of policy on people and how I suppose the historical impact of Queensland Government policy has impacted the local people there and if we can establish that across all regions within Queensland, so people are engaged with their local traditional owners and understanding the impacts of Government policy within that local area they themselves become better public servants because they understand the impacts.
There's a lot of avenues for people to be engaged in working in their own country, if you like so we obviously have a lot of infrastructure projects and a lot of people on the ground within those projects. So, our, I think the big thing here for us is how we influence our third-party contractors in that space. When we're partnering with big organisations to build the road somewhere or build a bridge somewhere, those sorts of things. Engaging and developing local capabilities and capacity for employment and long-term employment. So, we've got a real opportunity to influence that strongly.
Across the sector I think you’ll find a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't either the concepts and some of the issues were still talking about today in 2021 have been around since the 80s. If you like. Growing recruitment, growing career pathways, those sorts of things, breaking down systemic racism and within organisations. So those things are still there and there's still a challenge for particularly for First Nations people today as we walk between what we class as two worlds If you like. It's our own community and aboriginality or Torres Strait Islander nationality and the world of the public service and the government in general, and your expectations to deliver in that space.
Plus, the expectations that community put on you as a public servant so the challenges is always there and still there.
But we have made quite a bit of progress where people are a lot more open to growing their own cultural knowledge now. Particularly non-indigenous Australians. They want to know more, and you see that a lot within the younger generations coming through.
There's a level of understanding there that they need to know more. Need to know the history of this country and the history of our people, which is great.
it's great to be able to share that have people keen to ask questions and keen to grow their knowledge and that's how we breakdown the silos and barriers through education.
There's a lot going on at the moment around constitutional recognition, sovereignty where that stands, Queensland Government has their own treaty process unpacking that and at the same time there's our Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Department is running their Local Thriving Communities program as well, which is about building up our remote regional community areas.
So, there's a lot of things happening that are converging all at once right now. I think where the Queensland Government sits is in a struggle space, but very unique space as well. And what I mean by struggle space is that.
We've got probably over 300 language groups across Queensland, and to establish a treaty in that space is going to take a lot of effort, but the positive is that there's people there willing to make that effort and push that agenda.
And how that is going to influence federally around constitutional recognition is one of those things that is yet to be seen but we're still pushing for it, you know. So, and when you compliment that with programs like Local Thriving Communities and the growth in those areas, if we can get those things right and we have the conversations happening with the right people then it puts us in a very strong position as a government.