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South Australian Government employees ASO6 and above, managers and executives, and those aspiring to become executives, can access six-week residential secondments with Aboriginal-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 Aboriginal-led organisations, their communities, and the participants.

Whilst the Jawun Secondment Program is a six week residential placement there will also be limited spaces offered as a Virtual Secondment on the remaining rounds in 2021. Secondees can participate in Aboriginal community led projects from their desktop.

The Virtual 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.

Jawun Virtual Secondment Lifecycle

Please click here for the 2021 Residential Secondment Nomination Form.

Please click here for the 2021 Virtual Secondment Nomination Form.

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.

2021 Secondment Dates

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Start Dates

15 February

27 April

2 August

18 October

Secondment Type


Six week residential

Six week residential

Six week residential

The six week residential placement will involve secondees staying in one of two regions for the six week time frame. The regions are the Far West Coast and the Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong.

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

Applications are now open for Round two of the 2021 Jawun 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 note that the Round Two is offered as a six week residential placement, there is also a limited number of Virtual Secondments on offer, but you must get in quick!

Please click here for the 2021 Residential Secondment Nomination Form.

Please click here for the 2021 Virtual Secondment Nomination Form.

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 Secondment

A Jawun six-week residential secondment is likely to be both a challenging and rewarding experience. As a live-in residential program, it offers cultural immersion in a new kind of working environment. Participants often report that, at the beginning of the secondment, they are frequently working out of their comfort zone. However, secondees also report that their Jawun secondment was the most impactful development program they had ever attended.

The program is designed to be immersive and secondees will require the support of their workplace and family in order to leave for the duration of the secondment. At times, there may be opportunities to engage in community activities outside of the normal required working hours.

Accommodation typically involves secondees having their own room in a house shared by one or two other secondees. 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 OCPSE Jawun Program Co-ordinator OCPSELeadershipAcademy@sa.gov.au

All placements will involve a four-day induction program (including camping out and other cultural experiences), a five week project period and debriefing and evaluation sessions.

A Jawun virtual secondment

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

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. All placements will involve an induction program, a project brief, Co-ordinator check in’s, debriefing and evaluation sessions. email OCPSELeadershipAcademy@sa.gov.au for more information.

Jawun Secondment

The cost of a Jawun Secondment may vary depending on the secondee group size, the placement region, and whether Jawun need to hire a car for the secondee.

As a guide the costs range from $4,000 – $6,000 per secondee and the total amount is invoiced to the home agency at the completion of the secondment. This includes accommodation for the 6 week secondment and Induction week travel, meals, cultural tours and incidentals.

Additional Home Agency costs:

  • Staff wages during secondment (secondees remain employees of their home agency at their existing salary)
  • Applicable staff allowances, i.e. meals and incidentals etc.
  • Car hire and fuel (only if required)
  • Laptop and internet access (only if required)

Jawun Virtual Secondment

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