University to explore new ways to support Indigenous staff

12 October 2016

The University of Sydney is forging ahead in its efforts to increase the number of Aboriginal people employed at the University, with new research into staff retention. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston is calling on current and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff of the University of Sydney to take part in a confidential survey to better understand the experience of indigenous staff who work here.

Run by the Sydney Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, the research will seek to discover the reason behind a lower retention rate among Indigenous staff in comparison with non-Indigenous staff.

Professor Houston said while he was pleased by the significant progress the University had made in building opportunity, capability and rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since launching the Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu strategy in 2012, understanding the staff retention gap was crucial.

The hope is that by inviting past and present staff of the University to talk about their time working here, we can increase our retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait staff and improve the experience of working at Sydney for current and future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)
A photo of Professor Jakelin Troy

Professor Jakelin Troy, Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research

Professor Jakelin Troy, the University’s Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research, is part of the research team leading the research on the issue. She said that while we are not the only institution wanting to gain insight into how to better recruit and retain staff that identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, the University had a special responsibility to lead the way on the issue.

“We are inviting all Aboriginal and Torres Islander staff that have worked at the University to take part in an interview about their employment and whether they feel there were any systemic barriers or impediments to the retention of staff at Sydney.

“This will enable us to determine new ways in which we can improve the experience of Indigenous staff at the University and become the university of choice for academics, researchers and professional staff of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.”

Staff who are interested in taking part in this important research themselves, or know an eligible former staff member who may be interested in being involved, can call Gayle Caldwell on 9036 4719 or email Please note you are under no obligation to take part in this project and any contribution that you do make will be entirely confidential.