Indigenous Public Servants

Current Research:

Identifying Unique Barriers and Enablers of Career Progression for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Public Service

Project Researchers: Samantha Faulkner and Julie Lahn

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and CAEPR (ANU) in collaboration with the Australian Public Service Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior Executive Service Network have co-designed this research. The researchers are conducting interviews with Executive and Senior Executive Service Level public servants to generate insights into the opportunities and barriers public servants have experienced and observed in their careers. The project runs until the end of November 2018. A report and seminar podcast will be available on the CAEPR website. Presentations will also be made in agency forums.

Project Update:

The report has been finalised and can be viewed from here

Further Information:

Please contact Julie Lahn via email or on Ph: 02 6125 3166 or Samantha Faulkner via email or Ph: 02 6125 3875

Project Funding:

Australian Public Service Commission, College of Arts and Social Sciences (ANU)

Published Research:

CAEPR researchers are creating a substantial body of research focusing on the public service roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The following publications are available online:

Biddle N and J Lahn (2016) Understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Decisions to Exit the Australian Public Service. CAEPR Working Paper No. 110. Canberra: CAEPR, The Australian National University.

Dreise T (2017) Insiders, Outsiders, Side-by-Siders: Adopting a normative and collaborative approach to the role of Aboriginal public servants in Indigenous community participatory evaluation.

Lahn J (2018) Being Indigenous in the Bureaucracy: narratives of work and exit, International Indigenous Policy Journal 9(1):1-17.

Lahn J and E Ganter (forthcoming) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in public service roles: representation, recognition and relationships in Australian government bureaucracies, Special Issue: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment: Key Issues for Policy, Practice and Research, Journal of Australian Political Economy.  

Ganter, E. (2016). Reluctant Representatives: Blackfella Bureaucrats Speak in Australia’s North. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Monograph No 37. Canberra: ANU Press.

Ganter, E. (2011). 'Representatives in orbit: livelihood options for Aboriginal people in the administration of the Australian desert'. The Rangeland Journal, 33(4).




Updated:  13 March 2019/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications