Northern Indigenous Employment invites you to...

 Celebrate Aboriginal employment in Melbourne's inner north


Take part in an Aboriginal employment Q&A panel lead by Aboriginal representatives

Find out the winners of the 2016 NIE business recognition awards
This event is cost-free and open to everyone interested in Aboriginal employment and 

building successful Aboriginal workforces with culturally-inclusive practices.


VACSAL, 496 High Street, Northcote, VIC 3070
Enter via Dennis Street car park entrance

Proudly hosted by all NIE Partners including

long term partner 


You're invited...


Friday 2 September 2016


9:30 – 4:00pm


MCs on the day

Nathan Leitch, Social Compass | AJ Williams, Girraway Ganyi Consultancy


Welcome to Country

Wurundjeri Traditional Custodian


Indigenous Cultural Awareness Activity

Karen Lovett, Indigenous Education Centre, Kangan Institute


Aboriginal Employment Q&A Panel     10:30


Shane Charles, Indigenous Team Leader | City of Melbourne

Tony McCartney, Indigenous Liaison Officer | Indigenous Education Centre, Kangan Institute

Dennis Batty, Training Manager/Consultant | Indigenous Prospects Training & Recruitment

Shona Stewart, Aboriginal Employment Officer | City of Whittlesea

Lesley Jackson, Indigenous Recruitment Advisor | Crown Resorts

Abel Britton, Indigenous Employment and Support Specialist | Accor Hotels


Panel Facilitator

 Linc Yow Yeh, Coordinator, Jim Baa Yer Unit | Australian Catholic University


Lunch - 12:00


Special Guest Speakers    1:00

John Secombe, Director/Founder & Sara Stuart, General Manager

Indigenous Prospects Training & Recruitment (IPTR)   



NIE Business Recognition Awards Presentation        1:30






Contact Details: Nicole Findlay |NIE Partnership, E: M: 0448 524 464


3rd Annual NIE Getting on with Business: Employing Indigenous People Reconciliation week event took place on....

When      :  Tuesday 2 June, 2015

Where     :  VACSAL, 496 High Street, Northcote

What we YARNED About

  • Indigenous cultural awareness
  • Aboriginal community / job seeker / employer engagement and training
  • Deadly speed dates, Aboriginal employee work stories
  • Indigenous work ready training programs
  • Indigenous Mentoring
  • Best practice Aboriginal recruitment
  • Engaging Aboriginal Graduates

Event was hosted by the NIE Partnership group and supported by City of Darebin.

Aunty Margaret McNally
(IEC Artist, Kangan)
presenting her print to
Cherie Scifo, Accor Hotels Group

5 year milestone for annual NIE Aboriginal employment recognition ceremony

In 2010 the Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) partnership celebrated its first business recognition ceremony to acknowledge employers increasing employment outcomes for Aboriginal people across Melbourne’s north.

Five years on and this significant Aboriginal employment ceremony is still running strong.

With 180 people gathered in the Broadmeadows Town Hall on a hot Friday afternoon on October 24th.  There was clear excitement in the air.  NIE partners had set up stands to promote their services and business banners were-a-plenty, showing the support surrounding this special annual event.

As is tradition, the ceremony opens with a traditional welcome from Wurundjeri traditional custodian Colin Hunter, whose family is well respected and known for its long history of community engagement and leadership in Melbourne, particularly in the Hume region.

Hume City Council, Deputy Mayor, Adem Atmaca, followed the welcome with words about Council’s commitment to increasing Aboriginal participation both in the workplace and across Hume services.

With the ceremony broadcast live on 3KND’s Aboriginal Community radio station the audience is settled into proceedings with two live music performances by Jade Roberts and Amos Roach.  At this point, the energy is positive and Master of Ceremony, AJ Williams of Girraway Ganyi Consultancy, adds to the atmosphere encouraging the audience to shout-out to 3KND listeners.

Ian Hamm, Director of the Indigenous Economic Development Unit, steps up and congratulates the NIE partners on reaching a significant partnership milestone and recognises the efforts the partnership has made to increase Aboriginal employment. He says “partnerships like NIE work because they take a whole community approach and don’t rely on Government to make the changes needed”.

Mr Hamm also says “Aboriginal families and young job seekers should have high expectations for their futures and they should feel optimistic about their career opportunities”.

To support these words, the first NIE recognition award winner is announced and the SKILLED Group takes to the stage sharing its success of launching an Indigenous Employment Service in 2010, resulting in 2761 Aboriginal people being placed in jobs since.

Following this, we hear from international hospitality group, Accor, who is recognised for its ongoing campaigns to increase Aboriginal employment, participation and cultural awareness across its hotels nationally. 

Melbourne Health, umbrella group for the Royal Melbourne Hospital and North Western Mental Health is next to be recognised. With an Aboriginal workforce of 14 employees, the Deputy Director of Human Resources speaks of their efforts to build staff capacity and confidence. He acknowledges there is more work to be done and is excited about the launch of a new Indigenous work experience program set to engage students across Melbourne.

Following this, the ceremony breaks for a short interval and attendees quickly congregate for some speed networking and a sample of culinary delights from renowned restaurant and social enterprise, Charcoal Lane. 

When the NIE ceremony resumes, the awards take a twist and the spotlight turns to a successful Indigenous business, MUG Drive through coffee and cafe, not only employing and training Aboriginal staff, but experiencing such positive growth, it’s planning to open another cafe to employ even more people.

Like the other award recipients, MUG is presented with a beautiful piece of artwork exclusively painted by art students from the Indigenous Education Centre (IEC) at Kangan Institute and proudly presented by Pallawa woman, artist and Art Teacher, Aunty Maureen Simpson.

As the warmth rises in the room, the recognition awards continue and the University of Melbourne is the next employer to stand up. Attributing much of their success to an Indigenous Employment Framework (IEF) which has been in operation across the institution since 2010.  

A small two-man South Morang based business, BLG Property Improvements, follows and business owner, Brian Gregory, speaks about his four year working relationship with Aboriginal apprentice, Finn.  He says neither of them thinks much of their heritage on the job, but he’s proud Finn’s success is shared broadly in the community.

Last to step up for an award is the Northern Area Mental Health Service.  A service most worthy of recognition, particularly for the partnerships they have developed with Aboriginal service partners in an effort to improve Mental Health support in Aboriginal communities.

In all, five years on, the NIE Awards continue to successfully celebrate extraordinary employers, exceptional Aboriginal employees and a partnership determined to make good of its commitment to increase Aboriginal employment in Melbourne’s north.

When asked what changes have taken place in the Aboriginal employment space since the first NIE Business Recognition Ceremony, NIE Partnership Coordinator, Nicole Findlay says “conversations amongst employers have changed. They’re less afraid to engage Aboriginal job seekers and they’re more eager to know what success looks like, rather than sticking to the age old excuse, it’s all too hard”.

“Too hard is a thing of the past.  Employment is our common ground and employers who create visibility and respect for Aboriginal culture, services and partnerships quickly see the benefits it brings to their business – then they get it and it works”.

 Click here to view all NIE ceremony photos.

RecVic Board Member Stephanie Armstrong with NIE Members Tanya Douglas & Nicole Findlay
RecVic co-hosted the Inaugural Community HART Awards – Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together, with the VLGA on 5th June. 24 nominations were received across the two categories - Local Government and Community Group – and 10 finalists were shortlisted – read about the finalists here.

Community Organisation category

Winner: Northern Indigenous Employment Working Group

Highly commended: Framlingham Aboriginal Community for its 150th Anniversary Celebration.
Local Government Category

Winner: Glenelg Shire for the Glenelg Aboriginal Partnership Agreement

Highly Commended: Mornington Peninsula Shire for its Aboriginal Support and Development Team.

 NIE partnership wins Community HART Award

The Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) partnership won a significant reconciliation award at the inaugural Community HART Awards held at the Korin Gamadji Institute.

Presented by Reconciliation Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) the Community HART Awards recognise individuals and organisations advancing local reconciliation outcomes through initiatives that contribute to relationships, respect and understanding.

NIE Partners, Nicole Findlay, Tanya Douglas and Ross Patterson collected the award on behalf of the partnership and spoke of how they came together in 2008 wanting to find ways to increase Aboriginal employment in Melbourne’s north.

Six years on, the partnership has won multiple awards and continues to grow in size with 25 Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal partners from employment, training, local Government, education, health, youth, community, media and advocacy organisations across Melbourne’s north.

NIE’s accolades and ongoing success is attributed to good partner relationships, sustained Aboriginal community engagement, self-funding, knowledge sharing and hosting activities which highlight and celebrate best practice in Aboriginal employment and training.

NIE partners meet on a monthly basis and hold two signature events annually. The Getting on with Business, Employing Indigenous People event, held during Reconciliation week and the NIE Business Recognition Ceremony in late October.

To date the partnership has recognised 33 Employers for their successful Aboriginal Employment Strategies, increased Aboriginal employment outcomes within NIE partner organisations and in the workplaces of NIE’s extended employer networks.

NIE continues to support and invest in Indigenous business, artists, students, media and training and provides online tools and resources to assist Employers to keep informed of Indigenous employment developments.

The NIE partnership is thrilled to be acknowledged for its collective efforts to advance reconciliation and remains committed to improving Aboriginal employment outcomes in Melbourne’s Northern region.

For more information regarding the Community HART Awards and other worthy award finalists:

The Community HART Awards recognise Victorian partnerships and initiatives that contribute to local reconciliation outcomes

Stephannie Di Marco, Tanya Douglas & Alison Kuhl 

 Allan Murray & Clinton Edwardes
 Nicole Jenkins, Linc Yow Yeh & Toni Aslett
 Tanya Douglas, Ross Patterson & Gary Hansen
Kyle Vander-Kuyp, AJ Williams & Nicole Findlay 
To access the full NIE photo gallery visit:

NIE Reconciliation week event opens doors to Aboriginal jobs

On a cold and wet Mabo day in Melbourne, 120 people stepped out for the annual Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) Getting on with Business, Employing Indigenous People reconciliation week event.


A milestone event of the NIE working group, a multi-award winning community partnership made up of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal representatives from employment, training, local Government, education, health, youth, community, media and advocacy organisations across Melbourne’s north.

Gathering under the roof of peak Aboriginal body, Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL), people came from as far as Mildura and Shepparton to hear stories of Aboriginal employment success, Indigenous disability in the workplace and Koorie Justice recruitment programs.

The stars of the AFL Sportsready Program, Ralph White and Kyle Vander-Kuyp kicked things off with success stories beyond the sports field, speaking of a new exciting Artsready Program set to launch in the near future.

Katrina Beer, Managing Director of the Yanikan Werritj Vocational Training and Education Centre in Ballarat shared inspirational stories of people finding employment and making small steps towards powerful life changes. She reminded us of the importance of community and spoke of her value for partners and mentors.

The fellas from Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union, Jeremy Nikora and Uncle Pat Farrant backed this up with their club’s success stories of engaging young Indigenous job seekers, helping to motivate them to get work ready and partnering with Employers committed to giving young people a go!

Aboriginal Mental Health Trainer, AJ Williams from Mental Health First Aid Australia (AMHFA) had the audience in stitches with his brilliantly wicked sense of humour, something he says helps when discussing the harsh realities of Aboriginal disadvantage and the mental load Aboriginal employees carry in comparison to their Non-Aboriginal colleagues.

John Baxter from the First People’s Disability Network shared his deadly life story from a foster home in Donvale to being a community leader and proud grandparent.

Audience members heard from Robert Britten from the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI) on the launch of a new research project set to improve pathways to education, employment and services for Koorie students with disabilities. 

Alarming, honest and confronting statistics on Indigenous incarceration were presented by Ian Berry from Corrections Victoria – who stressed the importance of partnerships in reducing recidivism and creating positive pathways within Aboriginal communities.

To top things off, audiences were able to speed network with a group of deadly (awesome) Indigenous employees, each at various points in their careers.

In all, these speakers combined with a warm Welcome to Country from Wurundjeri elder, Georgina Nicholson, an Indigenous cultural awareness activity run by Kangan Institute’s Indigenous Education Centre (IEC) and some lively banter from Master of Ceremony, Gary Hansen – meant for a true celebration of Indigenous employment.

A day of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people coming together, not just under the banner of reconciliation, but for the sake of sharing our collective success and for an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about what works for Aboriginal people in the workplace.

To the NIE group’s credit, the Getting on with Business, Employing Indigenous People event has successfully created an avenue for new partnerships to be forged and a space where employers and Aboriginal job seekers alike have a “go to place” where the door to each other’s world is open and the bridge from community to a job is safe and inviting. 



NIE Business Recognition Awards Ceremony 2013

Indigenous employers of choice recognised

Six leading employers successfully recruiting Indigenous Australians were recognised at the recent Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) Awards. 

Celebrated on Friday 25 October 2013, the NIE business awards are a premier Indigenous employment event hosted by the NIE working group.

Over 150 people attended this year’s ceremony to hear Indigenous employment success stories from employers helping to increase Aboriginal employment and training outcomes in Melbourne’s Northern region.

This year’s NIE award recipients included AFL Sportsready, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Quit Victoria, Australian College of Optometry, Crown Casino and Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.

For their outstanding achievements each business received a unique piece of artwork personally designed by students from the Indigenous Education Centre (IEC) Kangan Institute.

Ceremony guests were treated to an opening didgeridoo performance by Amos Roach, son of respected Aboriginal singer/songwriter Archie Roach. 

Wurundjeri elder and traditional custodian, Margaret Gardiner offered a warm welcome to country and spoke of her passion for seeing Indigenous Australians, both young and old, better employed.

Ian Hamm, Director, Indigenous Economic Development, Department of Business and Innovation, honorary guest speaker, inspired and encouraged people to have high expectations of what is to come in the Indigenous employment space. 

Since the first NIE Awards ceremony was held in 2009, twenty-seven employers have been recognised by the NIE working group for their successful Indigenous employment strategies.  

To view past NIE award recipients or find out more about the NIE working group visit or contact Nicole Findlay on (03) 8329 8825.


NIE wins Regional Koori Community Justice Award

On Thursday 22 August 2013, the Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) working group won a significant Regional Koori Community Justice Award in the Employment and Career Development Category.

The award recognises persistent and passionate groups who develop and deliver programs that achieve improved justice outcomes for local Koori communities.

Presented by the Department of Justice, Northern Metropolitan Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, the awards are held annually at a regional and statewide level in Victoria.

As a proud recipient of the 2013 Regional Koori Community Justice Award, the NIE attributes its success to strong partner relationships and a growing labour market interest in Indigenous employment.


Since forming in 2008, the NIE working group has collectively initiated activities and resources aimed at improving employment, training and participation outcomes for Indigenous people, particularly youth, long-term unemployed, ex-offenders and those with disability, including mental illness.

At the awards ceremony, NIE group coordinator, Nicole Findlay said “it is truly a great honour to be recognised by Aboriginal community leaders for the positive contribution NIE is making to address generation cycles of Indigenous incarceration.


The award highlights the efforts NIE is making to create engagement opportunities between Indigenous Employers of Choice and Northern region community partners – including justice staff.”


Excitingly, as the NIE celebrated the Northern Metropolitan Regional Koori Community Justice Award, we were also  notified that the NIE partnership had been nominated for a Department of Justice, Statewide Koori Community awards presented on Friday 6 September and decided upon by nine RAJAC Chairpersons, representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Human Services and Victoria Police.


 NIE launches 2013 edition of Getting on with Business publication

The NIE working group is pleased to announce the launch of the 2013 edition of the

Getting on with Business Publication.

The new publication features successful Indigenous Employment Strategies adopted by NIE Business Recognition Award Winners from 2010-2012. 

Produced by the Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) working group, Getting on with business provides an insight in to businesses successfully developing Indigenous employment strategies and helping to increase Aboriginal employment in Melbourne’s North.

Getting on with business also features Managers and staff proudly talking about the benefits of employing Aboriginal people.

The publication has been designed and collated by Kangan IT Media Work experience students and guided by Paul Speelman.

Aboriginal artist and IEC Art teacher, Aunty Maureen Simpson has provided the front cover 'gecko' artwork and the NIE says a special thank you for her continued support. 


Click here to download

Jul 21, 2014, 6:24 AM