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The Jawun APS Secondment Program is open to high-performing, highly-skilled Executive Level employees, who are flexible, resilient and are prepared to be taken out of their comfort zone to work for a 6-week period in an Indigenous organisation. Jawun also offer 6-12 week Empowered Communities secondments to SES Band 1 or high performing Executive Level 2 officers.

The APS has partnered with Jawun since 2012. Under the current Memorandum of Understanding with Jawun, the APS commits to a mutually agreed number of secondees annually to undertake projects in regional and remote Australia. This partnership is designed to develop greater self-sufficiency for Indigenous people and their communities.

Please note that in-place Jawun secondments are temporarily suspended as part of the COVID national response. Jawun has developed a virtual version of its in-place model, to continue supporting Indigenous partners in these new and challenging times.

Further information on Information for workers from Australian Government Agencies, services and programs visiting remote communities.

Program structure

Each secondment includes a nomination and interview process, an induction program of between three and seven days, a questionnaire, and survey and evaluation processes.

During the induction, secondees learn about the Indigenous culture and interact with Indigenous organisations and community members. As part of their secondment, secondees may camp for a couple of nights, providing the opportunity to build team cohesion with fellow secondees (corporate and other APS employees). In remote regions secondees complete an off-road 4WD driving awareness course.

Following induction secondees begin working on their allocated project brief with their Indigenous organisation.

At the conclusion of their secondment, secondees debrief and complete a survey which provides useful feedback to Jawun.

Secondments are generally arranged into four rounds across ten regions.

Please note that in-place Jawun secondments are temporarily suspended as part of the COVID national response. Jawun is conducting virtual secondments based on a number of committed hours.

Jawun Secondment Program 2021

After three successful virtual secondment rounds in 2020, it is anticipated that Jawun in-place secondments will return in 2021. There will be four rounds offered over the year with Round one continuing as a virtual only secondment. It is expected that Round 2-4 will be predominately in-place secondments with limited virtual opportunities (pending COVID-19 restrictions).

Dates for the 2021 Jawun secondments are as fellow:


Commencement date

Nomination closing date

Round 1

15 February 2021

13 November 2020

Round 2

26 April 2021

15 February 2021

Round 3

26 July 2021

10 May 2021

Round 4

11 October 2021

26 July 2021

The application process

Each agency has a Jawun contact officer who can advise potential secondees of internal nomination processes and the number of secondments the agency is supporting for the year.

Agency endorsed nominations are sent to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC). The APSC works with Jawun to place nominees based on the skill set requirements of the Indigenous organisations in each region.

An interview process determines the nominees suitability for the program. It allows Jawun to learn more about the nominee’s skills and personality to ensure a good fit between the secondee and the host organisation. The potential secondee will receive formal advice from the APSC regarding the outcome of the interview.

The role of the Australian Public Service Commission

The Australian Public Service Commissioner writes to department and agency heads annually seeking their intent to participate in the program. The APSC works with Jawun to determine the secondee requirements for each region for each round.

Coordination of the program is managed centrally by the APSC. The APSC is a conduit between Jawun and agencies providing information and advice.

Nominations submitted to the APSC are sorted according to the skill sets required by Jawun for each Indigenous organisation in each region. The APSC program manager works with Jawun to identify secondees for each round. The program manager coordinates the interview process and provides advice on the outcome.

The APSC program manager is the first point of contact for Jawun during a secondment. Should any issues arise, the APSC is responsible for coordinating with your agency contact and Jawun to resolve these.

The role of APS departments and agencies

All participating departments and agencies have a dedicated Jawun contact who can provide assistance with your internal nomination and selection process. They are responsible for selecting the most suitable nominees for the program and sending endorsed nominations to the APSC. They work with the APSC to coordinate the interview process.

Each agency is responsible for arranging travel to and from the secondment and travel allowance as applicable under their enterprise agreement. Agencies organise a laptop, internet access and phone access as required for the duration of the secondment.

Work health and safety procedures are an important aspect of a secondment and the agency contact is responsible for supporting secondees prior to, during, and following a secondment.

Each agency is responsible for reimbursing secondment costs to Jawun.

The role of Jawun

Jawun manages secondments from corporate and government partners to Jawun Indigenous partner organisations by supporting them to deliver their strategies and vision.

Each region has a Jawun Regional Director (RD) who supports the Indigenous organisations (IO). They help the IO identify their needs, they work with the APSC program manager through the selection process to identify suitable secondees, and help the IO to match each secondee with a project brief.

The RD plays a support role during the secondment and keeps in regular contact with secondees during the secondment round.

Empowered Communities secondments

Empowered Communities (EC) is about rebalancing the relationship between Indigenous communities and state/territory and Commonwealth governments, and giving responsibility for Indigenous empowerment back to Indigenous people.

Jawun support 6-12 week EC secondments for SES Band 1 or high performing Executive Level 2 employees. These secondments are suited to employees who would benefit from a broader range of career experiences and who are ready to move out of their comfort zone.

EC secondments commence with a standard Jawun secondment round. Secondees go through the same nomination process and attend the induction week. Recognising the level of employees being targeted Jawun is open to negotiating the length and timing of EC secondments.

For more information on Empowered Communities see the Empowered Communities design report.


Contact Jawun [at] apsc.gov.au for current program information.

Further information

Further information such as regional information, program Indigenous partners, reports and videos  can be found at www.jawun.org.au [external link].

A frequently asked questions guide is available.

Last reviewed: 
12 November 2020