‘YanhambabirraBurambabirraYalbailinya’ (Come, Share and Learn), 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney, Many People Strategy

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander careers

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment is a key focus for our University. We support our professional and academic staff to realise their career ambitions and encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to consider a career with us.

The University of Sydney is deeply committed to providing a culturally rich and safe environment for all our staff and students. We support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professional and academic staff to achieve career success, whatever their background.

We are dedicated to ensuring that every one of our staff and students is accepted and has equal opportunities to gain the best possible employment and education here.

Why should you work with us?

You’ll join a community that is dynamic and career-oriented. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network promotes sharing of experiences, networking and professional support for career development and mentoring. We also provide a range of staff programs and initiatives, including cultural and ceremonial special leave.

We were the first university in the world to address cultural competence at a whole-of-university level, through the National Centre for Cultural Competence, and our Cultural Competence Leadership Program trains hundreds of University staff to champion and progress that work.

To give our staff and students and external organisations a solid grounding in cultural competence, the centre provides regular face-to-face workshops and online resources.

The University is committed to providing career and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Plan 2022-2024 (pdf, 3.9MB) complements the work of the One Sydney, Many People Strategy 2021-2024 and commits the University to increasing employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Developed in partnership with people across the University, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students, the plan sets out a program of 35 initiatives to identify and remove employment barriers and provide practical ways for different areas to support, recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the institution.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Plan 2022-2024 focuses on the following four key objectives:

  1. Community engagement  the University of Sydney is recognised as an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  2. Career attractiondevelopment and progression  creating career pathways from entry-level to senior level in both professional and academic areas, with visible opportunities for career attraction, development, and progression.
  3. Workplace culture and experience  a University culture that is inclusive and culturally safe.
  4. Accountability and best practice  leadership that embeds cultural capabilities and respect in policies and practices within their work areas.

For more information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Plan 2022-2024 or careers at the University please contact the Manager, Indigenous Employment.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and alumni have advanced the rights and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples in Australia for many years.

In 1966 Dr Charles Nelson Perkins AO became the first Aboriginal man to graduate from a university in Australia. While studying at Sydney he led the 1965 Freedom Ride, which saw a group of University students tour to rural towns in New South Wales to protest discrimination faced by Aboriginal people in outback communities. 

In 1993, Aboriginal linguist and University graduate Jakelin Troy published The Sydney Language (pdf, 225KB). This ground-breaking work is regarded as the world’s most comprehensive word list of the Sydney language published and accepted by the Aboriginal community.

Fellow alumnus Jack Manning Bancroft established AIME, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience in Redfern in 2005. This innovative volunteer program was set up to close the gap in education. It has now seen more than 15,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students and 5000 university students pass through its doors. 

Meet some of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff

Lisa Jackson Pulver

Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)

Lisa is a Koori woman whose people have hailed from South Western NSW, Eastern South Australia, Far North Coast NSW and across the seas to Scotland and Wales. She is a public health epidemiologist, a demography aficionado and a self-confessed data geek. She holds positions on the Australian Medical Council, the Health Performance Council and the Australian Statistical Advisory Council. She serves her country in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve. 

Andrew Bacon

Andrew Bacon
Senior Compliance Officer, Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS)

Andrew is a Yamatji Man from the Murchison/Gascoyne country in central Western Australia. As a senior member of the CIS team he manages the development, implementation, training and maintenance of a Compliance Framework and Register in consultation with senior executive staff and divisional management. Andrew is also a Community Presenter with the Black Dog Institute, where he delivers mental health awareness presentations nationwide.

Michael Doyle

Dr Michael Doyle
Research Fellow, Aboriginal alcohol and other drug use and treatment research

Michael is a Bardi person from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He has worked in Aboriginal health for more than 20 years, commencing his career as an Aboriginal Health Worker at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. Michael has also worked at Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute, then at UNSW Sydney’s Kirby Institute. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Sydney.

Traditional custodians of the land

The University of Sydney acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which it operates.  The campuses, clinical and research facilities are situated on the ancestral lands of the Gadigal, Wangal, Deerubbin, Dharug, Kamilaroi, Wiljali, Tharawal, Bundjalung,  Kur-ing-gai, Cammeraygal and Wiradjuri peoples.*

Gadigal (Cadigal) – Sydney, Darlington, Camperdown

Camperdown Campus, Darlington Campus, Surry Hills Campus, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Central Clinical School

Deerubbin – Nepean, Penrith

Nepean Clinical School

Dharug (Dharuk) – Westmead

Westmead Campus, Westmead Clinical School, Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School

Kamilaroi (Gamilaraay) – Narrabri

Plant Breeding Institute

Wiljali (Wilyakali) – Broken Hill

Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH)

Wangal – Concord, Balmain, Rozelle, Lidcome

Concord Clinical School, Sydney College of the Arts, Cumberland Campus

Tharawal (Dharawal) – Camden

Camden Campus

Bundjalung (Badjelang)  – Lismore

University Centre for Rural Health

Kur-ing-gai  – Wahroonga

Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School

Cammeraygal - St Leonards

Northern Clinical School

Wiradjuri – Dubbo/Orange

School of Rural Health

*The information used in the table above is sourced from the local Aboriginal Land Councils who hold the cultural authority of the areas named.

Header image credit: ‘YanhambabirraBurambabirraYalbailinya’ (Come, Share and Learn), 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney, Many People Strategy.

Facts & figures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff snapshot

  • 195 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
  • 45 permanent and fixed term academic staff positions
  • 1.14% Proportion of staff who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • *figures from 30 September 2022