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Shark Bay, WA
Shark Bay, WA

Enhancing our capabilities

A strong internal capability is critical for delivering our priorities and achieving our purpose. Our internal capabilities allow us to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities in the working environment. We invest in our people, technology and structures to ensure we continue to provide positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


We value our people — they’re at the heart of our Agency. Our leaders inspire a sense of purpose in the 1,300 employees spread across our offices in urban, regional and remote locations. Each employee is supported and empowered to build their career, professional skills and, importantly, their cultural understanding. We invest in each other’s success and share the fundamental values of respect, authenticity, honesty and professionalism.

"Each employee is supported and empowered to build their career, professional skills and, importantly, their cultural understanding."

Throughout the reporting period, we will continue to ensure we have the people we need supporting the aspirations of First Nations peoples. We will refresh our workforce plan over the next 12 months ensuring that we are a key partner in fulfilling the Australian Government’s commitments to elevating First Nation’s voices. We will continue to build on the positive trend we saw in our 2022 APS Census results, which showed our workforce is highly committed and engaged. Our 2022 results are a testament to our progress as an agency and a reflection of our ongoing commitment to staff wellbeing and development.

To support our people we will have a greater focus on engagement and partnership capabilities. We will identify and grow employee capability and improve performance by assessing and developing required competencies. We will continue to support our people through on-the-job learning opportunities, communities of practice and mobility programs. Leadership expectations are outlined in our Leadership Continuum. Activities and programs to reward and build leaders will continue to align with these expectations.

Our Footprints Program is our award-winning cross-cultural continuous learning initiative. We will continue to deliver the Indigenous Development and Employment Program (IDEP). IDEP participants are supported to build a structured career development and training plan tailored to their individual learning requirements. The Executive Level 2 Leadership Assessment Program (LeAP) was launched in 2022 to identify high performing leaders to assist in creating talent pipelines to senior roles. This program supports the Commonwealth Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy (CATSIWS) and we will continue to deliver in 2022–23.

Diversity and Inclusion is about empowering our people to contribute their skills and perspectives for the benefit of the NIAA’s outcomes. Throughout the reporting period, the NIAA will focus on removing barriers to support staff to fully participate in the workplace.

Creating and maintaining a strong culture of integrity is crucial for the NIAA’s staff to model and promote. The shared values of our Agency are lived through our behaviours and underpin how we work. The impact of these values and behaviours go beyond internal work practices. As we each live out these values and behaviours within the workplace, they inform the way we do our business with each other, our partners and stakeholders.

Health, safety and wellbeing

The safety and wellbeing of staff is fundamental. We continue to mature our safety management system and wellbeing strategies, with a continued emphasis on building the mental health capability of our workforce. Particular effort will be invested in understanding and appropriately responding to psycho-social hazards. Through Compassionate Foundations, a skills-led learning approach for the APS, our people access a range of capability areas including: vicarious trauma, psychological first aid, and suicide prevention. In recognising the challenges faced by our workforce and communities, we continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all of our people. Our forward focus is to provide the tools and resources that are supported by evidence and build the mental health capability of our workforce. This will strengthen our ability to identify, manage and reduce psycho-social risks. We will continue to fulfil our due diligence obligations through effective communication and consultation with our workforce.


The NIAA is in the second year of implementing the NIAA Information Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy 2020–2023. Working hand in hand with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (and more recently, the Department of Finance), we are committed to delivering a set of ambitious digital transformation initiatives so that our technology better supports our staff needs now and into the future.

The One Network Project has been established to transition all NIAA staff onto a single ICT environment. This is the most ambitious digital transformation initiative the NIAA has embarked on since the Agency’s inception. This transition will allow the NIAA staff across all of Australia to work more effectively and efficiently together. The project will be delivered over 18 months, and will see significant improvements to staff experience, productivity and organisational culture. The NIAA One Network Project strongly aligns to the NIAA ICT Strategy, and the Australian Government’s Digital Strategy.

Building on this, we will continue to explore options to improve the consistency of products and services across the NIAA and geographies. We will introduce ICT enhancements to streamline grants administration processes and reporting, as well as improve Indigenous procurement policy compliance, productivity and user experience.

Aligning with Closing the Gap Priority Reform 4, the NIAA is at the forefront of uplifting the digital and data capabilities of our staff and engagement partners. Steps have already been taken to consolidate technology, digital and data functions to provide greater insights and impacts. Over the reporting period, we will seek to complete the NIAA data asset register, develop targeted policies and prepare our application for Data Availability and Transparency Scheme accreditation following the Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022. These focused steps will further facilitate Indigenous data sharing across the Australian Government and inform regional-level decision making in the future.

"NIAA is at the forefront of uplifting the digital and data capabilities of our staff and engagement partners."


An appropriate governance structure is central to achieving our purpose and vital to ensure effective and efficient operating practices. We have a strong governance framework in place to support effective decision-making, transparency and accountability. Our committees provide oversight of strategic, operational, risk and reporting matters that affect the NIAA. They work together to build our organisational capability and culture. We are committed to the continued improvement of our governance and management practices to assure all stakeholders of our integrity and accountability as an Agency.

"We have a strong governance framework in place to support effective decision-making, transparency and accountability."

Our governance structure:

Governance Structure
  • CEO
    • Resources Committee
    • Executive Board
      • Policy and Delivery Committee
      • Emergency Management and Business Continuity Committee
      • People and Culture Committee
    • Audit and Risk Committee