This strategy will underpin our recruitment and staffing policies and ensure that inclusive employment processes are in place. Its development has been a priority for Seniors Rights Service and its finalisation and adoption by the Seniors Rights Service Board is a key achievement under our Reconciliation Action Plan.
The aims of the strategy fall under four key objectives: Recruitment, Retention, Development and Workplace Culture.
We want and need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to join us in our quest to provide relevant and culturally appropriate services to older people across NSW.
The strategy recognises that we can only reach and be relevant to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities by including more Indigenous staff.
To that end, we have already increased the number of Aboriginal staff across legal and aged care advocacy to five – up from one – which means we have already reached the strategy target of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff making up at least 10 percent of the Seniors Rights Service workforce.
We aim to continue this process with future recruitments and by increasing board representation and lifting the number of Indigenous interns and volunteers within the organisation.
The second objective is to make sure we retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. To do so, the strategy will ensure we are supportive of their needs, such as by enabling time off for cultural and ceremonial reasons, providing mentoring and networking, and conducting exit interviews to understand why Aboriginal staff might choose to leave our organisation.
Further, the strategy will also ensure professional development opportunities for existing staff are enhanced.
And finally, we are committed to creating a culturally safe, competent and inclusive workplace environment that demonstrates respect for and recognition of the unique perspectives Indigenous staff bring to our organisation.
Through our employment strategy, we are confident that the voices of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be better heard and that we will be better able to support their needs and help to uphold their human rights.