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Indigenous Pathways

Defence is proud of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognises their contribution to Defence, which has a long history. We seek to continue this proud tradition through promoting our employment pathways to more Indigenous job seekers. 

Defence is committed to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation by offering attractive entry programs into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Public Service (APS).

Defence can offer unique employment opportunities to provide experience working with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Australian Public Service

Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) offers many different opportunities for Indigenous Australians that are interested in joining the Navy, Army or Air Force.

  • Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Program (IPRP)
  • Defence Indigenous Development Programs

Australian Public Service

The Department of Defence is one of the three largest APS employer organisations. Defence offers a number of different indigenous pathways including:

  • Traineeships
  • Graduate Program
  • Direct Entry
  • Sponsorship
Indigenous Apprenticeships Program

Indigenous Apprenticeships Program

An exciting opportunity where you embark on a 12 month traineeship where you will undertake meaningful work that contributes directly to Defence’s’ goals. Learn on the job whilst you study a qualification that will prepare for a rewarding career in government.

Indigenous Australian Government Development Program

Indigenous Australian Government Development Program

Launch yourself into an 18 month traineeship program and contribute to a career where you will make a difference in Defence. Undertake valuable on the job training whilst you study a qualification in HR, Project Management or Procurement & Contracting that will prepare you for a fulfilling career.


ADF & APS Retention

Defence acknowledges that undertaking full-time employment can be challenging for some Indigenous Australians, particularly when they are isolated from their family and community. Defence acknowledges this separation, and its impact on Indigenous members and employees, through positive and supporting actions.

Defence knows that to retain its people it must support them by encouraging them in their ADF or APS careers. This not only improves retention rates, but also increases the likelihood of people recommending Defence as a good place to work.

Additional support mechanisms to retain Indigenous ADF members and APS employees include formalising networking arrangements and developing a greater awareness of the effects of full-time employment on Indigenous Australian cultures. Support can also include career development pathways and opportunities, and supportive conditions that recognise cultural requirements.

Cultural integration is the key to enabling both Indigenous and non-Indigenous ADF members and APS employees to recognise their common organisational culture and commitment to Defence.