jawun icon

South Australian Government managers and executives, and those aspiring to become executives, can now access ‘Virtual’ secondments with Indigenous-led community organisations – working closely with executives from the private sector.

The South Australian Government has formed a partnership with not-for-profit organisation Jawun, to develop the talent of South Australian Government managers and executives, and support practical reconciliation in South Australia. This partnership provides six-week residential placements that benefit both the Indigenous-led organisations, their communities, and the participants.

In response to COVID-19, Jawun adapted the six-week residential secondment program into a new 100-hour minimum virtual program. Secondees can participate in Aboriginal community led projects from their desktop.

This model can be undertaken full time (preferred) or part time (regular or irregular days/hours), with a minimum commitment of 100 hours. All projects require completion within six weeks of commencement, allowing agencies to free up secondee resources to fit within their individual business model or operational requirements.

The six-week residential secondment program is on hold until further notice.

Jawun Virtual Secondment Lifecycle

A number of steps are involved in placing skilled secondees into Indigenous organisations:

  • Projects for support are identified – Indigenous organisations outline their priorities
  • Skills required are identified – Jawun helps Indigenous organisations think through the skills required from secondees
  • Secondees are matched with projects – Jawun works with corporate and government partners to identify suitable secondees
  • Induction and support – Jawun manages each secondee’s induction into the region and provides ongoing support during their secondment (typically six weeks).

Opportunities are currently available in supporting organisations in one of the following two regions:

Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong

The Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong region is home to the Ngarrindjeri nation. The Ngarrindjeri’s traditional areas extend one hour south-east of Adelaide from Mannum, and downstream through Murray Bridge and Victor Harbor and along the coast through Goolwa to Cape Jervis, including Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert. In this region, there is a growing desire among Ngarrindjeri people to create a future centred on caring for country, which incorporates respect for traditions, cultural responsibility and self-determination. Current initiatives are focused on research, land management and developing a sustainable Ngarrindjeri regional economy. Click here to read the case study: Growing opportunity on Ngarrindjeri lands or for more information about the Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong region click here to visit the Jawun website.

Far West Coast

Jawun’s newest region at the Far West Coast has an Aboriginal population of approximately 1,100 people and five smaller Aboriginal communities – Oak Valley, Yalata, Scotdesco, Koonibba, and Ceduna. The leaders of key organisations in this region have identified the following areas that need to be addressed:

  • Maintenance, strengthening and promotion of Aboriginal culture
  • Lack of economic and social development opportunities
  • Poor education and consequent lack of real employment opportunities
  • Poor health outcomes
  • Lack of resources and suitably qualified workers in remote communities
  • High cost of delivery of services to remote locations
  • Lack of recreational and other creative alternatives.

For more information about the Far West Coast region click here to visit the Jawun website.

The virtual secondment will require a minimum commitment of 100 hours, which equates to approximately two days a week for six weeks.

Secondment commencement dates are flexible, and can begin any time after the virtual induction session is completed. Jawun will run regular virtual induction sessions until the end of the year.

Applications are now open for 2020 Jawun virtual secondments, a highly recommended leadership development experience for senior managers and executives in the South Australian Public Sector. Although this program is aimed at management and executive levels, employees at the ASO6 level and above are encouraged to apply.

Please click here for the 2020 Nomination Form.

Jawun Information Sessions are coming soon. To register your interest please email OCPSELeadershipAcademy@sa.gov.au .

In the private sector, Jawun secondments are frequently recognised as a pathway to higher-level executive roles. While relatively new for the South Australian Government, it’s expected that nominations for the limited number of Jawun places will be highly competitive. It is critically important that you gain the support of your agency chief executive prior to submitting your nomination form. It is also recommended that you discuss your nomination with the Jawun Program Coordinator prior to submitting your application – please email OCPSELeadershipAcademy@sa.gov.au.

Jawun is a national organisation that began in 2001. Apart from the South Australian Government, Jawun has also developed a range of private sector partnerships with organisations such as Westpac, KPMG, Wesfarmers, NAB, Leighton Contractors, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, QBE, Woodside, News Corp, Telstra, Macquarie, RAA, and the Bendigo & Adelaide Bank. Working alongside corporate executives provides significant networking opportunities for South Australian Government secondees.

This video features corporate partners discussing the benefits of Jawun.

A Jawun virtual secondment is likely to be both a challenging and rewarding experience.

Please click here to see the Jawun Virtual Secondment Lifecycle infographic for more information.

Prior to submitting a nomination, it is recommended that nominees visit Jawun’s website for more detailed information, and discuss any concerns with their agency and/or the Jawun Program Co-ordinator (email OCPSELeadershipAcademy@sa.gov.au). All placements will involve an induction program a project brief, Co-ordinator check in’s, debriefing and evaluation sessions.

The costs may vary depending on the virtual cultural experiences included in the secondment period this will range from $100 to $300.

Sandra Russell


Sandra Russell

Department for Correctional Services

Designing an Atlas of the Ngarrindjeri Nation
Click here to view Case Study One


Mac Bollella


Immacolata ‘Mac’ Bollella

Department of Treasury and Finance

Case Study Two: Designing a Marketing and Branding Strategy for the Ngarrindjeri Nation – click here to view Case Study Two


Michael Gibbs


Michael Gibbs

Department for Human Services

Case Study Three: Organisational Development Strategies for the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority  – click here to view Case Study Three