Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Jawun Program?

Jawun is an Indigenous community secondment program. It is a not-for-profit organisation that works with government and corporate partners to provide secondees to Indigenous organisations in a number of communities around Australia.
Through these secondments Jawun supports Indigenous leaders to deliver their own strategies and vision and to contribute to the capability development of Indigenous people, communities and organisations.

How does the Program work?

  • Projects identified for support.
    Indigenous organisations outline their priorities.
  • Required resources articulated
    Jawun helps the Indigenous organisations think through the corporate secondee required.
  • Suitable resources located.
    Jawun works with corporate and government partners to identify suitable secondees.
  • Resources are applied and supported
    Jawun manages the local induction and provides ongoing support to secondees for the duration of the program.

Why are we getting involved?

The Jawun Program provides an immersive learning experience, focused on developing cultural competence. DPC and Treasury have committed to participate in the program in 2017 to undertake projects in urban, regional and remote Australia.

In participating, we hope to:

  • Build the capacity of Indigenous individuals and organisations.
  • Assist Indigenous people to access mainstream economic and educations opportunities.
  • Assist Indigenous people to bring about health and social reform.
  • Create positive outcomes for Indigenous communities.
  • Build cultural awareness across the home agencies and create personal development opportunities for participants.
  • Create broader awareness of Indigenous matters within the home agencies.

How many secondees will DPC and Treasury provide?

Collectively, DPC and Treasury have agreed to support the secondment of 12 employees to work with indigenous communities for 2017.

Who benefits from the program?

All parties involved in the program will benefit from participation. Benefits are realised by the Indigenous communities that are being served, the participants (secondees) as well as the organisation providing the secondees.

  • Participation results in positive outcomes for Indigenous communities through knowledge and skills transfer.
  • Secondees will benefit through cultural awareness as well as personal and professional growth and development. For example, immersing yourself in an indigenous community for 6-weeks may take you out of your comfort zone and will provide you with a unique cultural experience. Through interesting work activities and a unique environment, the secondee will have the opportunity to develop skills in mentoring, coaching and skills transfer. There may be the opportunity to share not only work-related skills but those developed through hobbies and in their personal life.
  • The home organisation benefits through increased cultural awareness and broader awareness of indigenous matters. Participants are expected to journal and share their experience and learnings through appropriate channels, both during and after the secondment period. Additionally, secondees will be able to use the skills they develop through the program when they return to their regular position of employment.

Who can apply to participate in the program?

Any ongoing employee that has successfully completed their probation may apply to participate in the program. In addition, the employee should not be the subject of any performance issues, and should have their manager and Director's approval before applying.

What's the process for selection?

Interested employees should submit an online application. The home agency will ensure all applicants meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Jawun will review all applications, matching skills and attributes and other credentials against the requirements of the projects/communities that are to be served. Jawun Regional Directors will review applications and make offers to suitable applicants.

I have never worked with Indigenous communities before, what experience do I need?

You don't need any specific experience of working with Indigenous communities. Generally the program seeks participants that have the following skills and attributes:

  • Desire to make a difference and are enthusiastic.
  • Business and personal skills and the ability to apply them.
  • Culturally sensitive, humble and are respectful of others.
  • Engaging, have good listening skills, are able to build relationships, can relate well to others and pass on skills and knowledge.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful and able to work in an unstructured environment.
  • Quick learners and can work both collaboratively and autonomously.
  • Open-minded, have an openness to different experiences and have a sense of adventure.

How long is the secondment period?

Secondments typically occur over a consecutive 6-week period, which includes between 3-7 days for induction. This period of time enables participants to make a meaningful contribution and immerse themselves in the project to which they are assigned. Secondees are required to complete pre-readings set by Jawun, complete questionnaires, surveys and evaluations and undertake relevant training and briefings.

Why does the induction period vary between 3-7 days?

The induction program is determined by the location of the secondment, the nature of the project and the community in which the secondee will be placed.
For secondees to an Inner Sydney community, the induction program will generally last 3 days. For those in remote communities, their induction program will typically run for 7 days.

What happens during induction?

All secondees will learn about indigenous culture, the region they will be working in and how to interact with indigenous organisations and people.
For those assigned to remote regions, secondees may attend an off-road driving awareness course and a camping trip where they can experience the region, meet local elders and community members as well as get to know their fellow secondees.
Those placed in Inner Sydney will participate in a walking tour and harbour cruise as part of their induction program.

When will the secondments happen?

The dates of 2017 secondments are set out below:

Regions 2017

Round 1 Dates

Round 2 dates

Round 3 dates

Round 4 dates

Central Coast

12 Feb – 25 Mar

7 May – 17 June

30 Jul – 9 Sept

22 Oct – 2 Dec

Inner Sydney

12 Feb – 25 Mar

7 May – 17 June

30 Jul – 9 Sept

22 Oct – 2 Dec

NPY Lands

20 Feb – 1 Apr

24 Apr – 3 June

24 Jul – 2 Sept

16 Oct – 25 Nov

Is there any flexibility with these dates?

No, the dates are driven by Jawun. The individual agency may determine whether their secondee(s) are placed in Rounds 2, 3 4.

What if I can't commit to the full 6-weeks?

We are looking specifically for staff members that are available during this time and can immerse themselves in the program for the full 6-week period. If you are unable to commit for the full 6-weeks during either of the time periods stated, then you should not apply.

Can I take annual leave during my secondment?

Secondees will be selected on the understanding that they are able to commit to the full 6-week program.

Where will the secondments be located?

Secondments will take place in the following regions:

  • Ngaanyatjarra Pitjanjatjara Yankunytatjara(NPY) Lands (generally Alice Springs based). The NPY Lands are home to 6,000 Indigenous people (Anangu and Yarnangu) from 26 desert communities and homelands, spread over 350,000 square kilometres.
  • Inner Sydney (Redfern and La Perouse)
  • Central Coast (100km north of Sydney's CBD)

I have family commitments and can't spend 6 weeks away from home. Can I still participate?

There are opportunities available in Inner Sydney so you most definitely will be eligible to participate if your application is successful. Working in Inner Sydney enables participants to stay at home during their secondment and provides the opportunity for ongoing participation and involvement in this community on a voluntary basis at the end of the assignment.

Can I select which location I am assigned to?

Your preferences and personal commitments, along with your skill sets and attributes, will be taken into account during the selection process and by Jawun when matching secondees to appropriate projects/locations.

If I'm seconded to a remote area, what are the travel and accommodation arrangements?

Travel will be arranged by Jawun and travel costs will be covered by the home agency, in line with their Travel Policy arrangements.
Secondees assigned to the Central Coast and NPY Lands will stay in Jawun accommodation, within proximity to your assigned location.

If I'm seconded to an Inner Sydney area, what are the travel and accommodation arrangements?

If you're seconded to a project in the Inner Sydney area, you can commute each day and travel home in the evenings. It is expected that all ordinary travel costs will be covered by the secondee.

Are meals and living expenses covered?

That depends on your assignment. If you are assigned to an Inner Sydney project then no, these are your responsibility, as essentially you have a normal work day, just based in a different location. If you are assigned away from home, the cost of your meals will be covered, in line with your home agency's Travel Policy. All other personal expenses are the responsibility of the secondee.

Will I still be paid if I participate?

Yes, you will be paid as normal by your home agency.

Does the time come out of my annual leave?

No, the time spent on your secondment does not come out of your accrued leave.

What are secondees expected to take with them?

This is dependent on the location they are assigned to. Secondees will be fully briefed by Jawun before their appointment and departure.

Is there anything that secondees shouldn't take with them?

Again, this is dependent on the location of the secondment. Some of the communities may have restrictions and local laws in place. Secondees will be fully briefed before their appointment and departure.

Is any special clothing or equipment required?

This is dependent on the location of the secondment. Secondees will be fully briefed before their appointment and departure.

What are the hours of work?

Secondees are required to work a normal work week i.e. 37.5 hours from Monday to Friday.

What happens in the event of a family emergency?

Secondees are free to return home at any point during an appointment in the event of an emergency.

What happens if I'm sick during my secondment?

These will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Medical facilities will be available in remote locations. Any sick leave taken will be taken from your personal/carers leave balance.

What insurance arrangements are in place for secondees?

Secondees are covered by their normal WorkCover insurance and business travel insurance.

If assigned to a community in a remote area, can secondees return home during the secondment?

Secondees located in remote areas are expected to remain in their assigned communities for the full 6-week secondment period. Secondees assigned to Inner Sydney are expected to commute daily.

If I'm assigned to a community in a remote area, can my family come with me?

No, the Jawun program supports secondees only and is unable to cater for dependents and spouses.

If I'm assigned to a community in a remote area, can my family visit at the weekends?

No, it is expected that when you accept a secondment with the program that you immerse yourself in the community in which you will be based.

If I'm assigned to a community in a remote area, will I get any time off?

You will work normal working hours during your assignment and will have weekends off.

Do secondees receive any training in cultural awareness?

Absolutely. This is a key part of the induction program. All secondees will learn about indigenous culture, the region they will be working in and how to interact with indigenous organisations and people.

Will I be safe during my secondment?

The safety of participants is important and all program management parties (Jawun, Indigenous Partner Organisation and home agency) will undertake a risk management process.
You will also be in regular contact with your Jawun Co-ordinator and can report any WHS issues or concerns that arise during the course of the secondment so that they can be effectively dealt with.
A framework for management of WHS will be in place prior to the commencement of the secondment and secondees will be made fully aware of the process, which will be clearly documented.
Additionally, safety will be a topic of the Jawun induction program and will incorporate any information specific to the locale you are assigned to.

How will I be supported through the program?

Your assigned Jawun Co-ordinator will be in touch with you throughout the program. If you are having any issues you can contact your Co-ordinator, HR, your manager or a representative from Jawun at any time in the program. The services of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider will also be available for you to draw upon.

Who is my Jawun Co-ordinator?

Each home agency will appoint a Jawun contact who will be the first point of contact for those accepted onto the program.

What sort of work is involved?

Secondment placements depend on matching the qualities and skills of selected secondees with project work required by Indigenous communities and/or communities. Projects could include (but are not limited to):

  • Asset management
  • Strategic planning
  • Policy support
  • Risk assessment
  • Corporate governance
  • Census analysis
  • Project planning
  • Marketing
  • Training and development
  • Business planning
  • HR systems development

Who will do my job if I'm selected to participate in the program?

HR will work with your manager to determine resourcing for your role for the period of the secondment. Your manager will be involved in the resourcing process.

How can I learn more about the Jawun Program before I decide whether to apply?

More information about the program, the type of work carried out and the communities they work with can be found on the Jawun website. There are a number of case studies available which detail previous projects.

What if I am offered a place and decide not to join the program?

Participation is purely voluntary and you are under no obligation to join the program. However, once you commit to the program, you are expected to fulfil the terms of your secondment.

What happens at the conclusion of the program?

Secondees will return to their normal position at the end of the secondment. All participants of the program are expected to journal their experience and are required to share their experience with their home agency through appropriate channels. Participants are also required to complete surveys and evaluations for Jawun and their home agency, if required.