THE CONFERENCE                                            

The 2018 National Indigenous Employment: Building A Future Conference is scheduled to be held in Canberra on the July 5 - 6, 2018. The conference will bring together organisations, employers and government agencies to discuss and paint a bigger picture of Indigenous employment.  Over the years, Indigenous employment has changed considerably. Even though Indigenous unemployment rate is high and still unacceptable, reality shows us that the overall picture is getting brighter by the day.  The conference will have an employment trade show as part of the proceedings. This will give participants the chance to look at further opportunities to develop a career path for employers. The conference will have the chance to meet with prospective employment agencies with a view to enhancing partnerships.

In the past, Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples’ main opportunity to securing long term employment was either by government or within their own community organisations. However, employment within the community were limited at best and in many cases, were only short term and dependent on funding. Government in the past had develop many limited employment programs between six weeks, six months and in some cases up to twelve months with all the best intentions. Things like the RED Scheme, CDEP, just to name a few but as we all know, after people developing work skills and a culture of being employed found themselves with a whole range of new meaningful skills and nowhere to use these new found skills. Thus, participants become frustrated and disheartened. Most of these programs in the past did have short-term benefits. Today employment is seen as more than a job. It’s a pathway to economic empowerment for the individual; and therefore, leads to empowerment of our communities which in turn, feeds Indigenous self26-determination together with a healthier mind, body and soul.




The conference is designed to equip and empowers delegates and drives Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islanders forward as a people.  The conference will also take an in-depth look at present day government policies and how they may affect our future.  Today we have the largest number of representatives ever elected.  This has in some way given Indigenous people a voice to the highest  level in Local, Territory, State and federal governments.

The Australian Government has set three clear priorities for its Indigenous Advancement strategy to make sure efforts are effectively targeted:

  • The positive impact that education has on the future success of individuals, families and communities is clear. Children who go to school have better life outcomes.

  • Employment, economic development and social participation improve the lives of families and communities. The right conditions and incentives need to be in place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to participate in the economy and broader society.

  • Growing up in a healthy and safe home and community is essential for families to thrive and reach their full potential. In particular, the violence that too many women and children face must be addressed.

Even though we still have a long way to go, the opportunities to develop career pathway is now possible. Aboriginal medical services have grown to such a size where you no longer could be just an Indigenous health worker but indeed, progress to nursing or even to become a specialised health professional e.g. doctors, surgeon, physiotherapist, etc. Education is and remains to be the catalysts for employment. From Mr. Charles Perkins becoming the first Indigenous person to graduate from a university to the 2016 Closing the Gap report for 2016 highlights the numbers of increasing Indigenous university graduates indicates that Indigenous communities are moving forward in such a way that our community groups educational organisation and government are all working together to create the opportunities for Indigenous advancements through a holistic approach whether it was designed that way or not.





Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieve lower educational outcomes than their non-Indigenous peers. Government and communities must work together in getting children to school, improving their results and supporting families to give their children the best start in life will help to close the educational gap as good education helps keep culture strong and lets future generations share stories about their community, culture and kinship. 



Having a job helps us build the future we want for our families and our communities. Getting adults into work and making sure everyone has the opportunity to own our own home, run our own business, and provide for our self and our families will mean a strong future for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  Employment not only brings financial independence and choice, it also contributes to self- empowerment.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should share the same opportunities for economic participation as other Australians and must be supported by the government to make the most out of our land assets and cultural knowledge, increasing business and employment opportunities, and making goods and services more easily available to help Indigenous businesses, and assists Indigenous entrepreneurs who want to establish or grow a small business especially in remote areas.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be consulted and must have a say in decisions made by governments that affects our well being, community, country and way of life. Indigenous community leaders and governments must work together and co-design  solutions to community-identified priorities to deliver services at a grassroots level which promotes Indigenous ownership and give Indigenous people a greater say in decisions that affect them and puts Indigenous culture and participation in front and center of government decision-making.




The 2018 National Indigenous Employment Conference intends to working together through partnerships, networks and the dissemination of information. The “One size fits all' approach has never and will never fit the Indigenous culture and that is why this Conference will endeavour to highlight as many different POSITIVE Community and Government based programs as possible.

Today with the introduction of the internet and Jet Travel the world has become much smaller but more complex in the pursuit of information.  In our every day working life, we develop a local network and as such, this event will provide delegates, Communities, Government Departments the opportunity to learn and engage with individuals, organisations, families and communities from not only our local community, state but also nationally.  The conference aims to develop creative collaboration, building bridges between agencies. 


  1. To promote a positive future in the years leading to 2020

  2. To promote Aboriginal self determination and self management

  3. To promote further First Nations economic, social and cultural development

  4. To highlight that First Nations Peoples are intricate part of the Australian fabric

  5. To promote leadership in Indigenous communities

  6. To highlight First Nations Peoples are succeeding

  7. To promote First Nations Peoples will remain a part of Australian society well past 2020

  8. Capture, disseminate educational knowledge and consolidate the latest developments

  9. Strengthen the existing networks of practitioners, policymakers, planners



The 2018 National Indigenous Employment Conference presents an invaluable opportunity for individuals and communities to participate and share their stories, knowledge, challenges and experiences in their search for employment or in keeping thier jobs. This conference presents a unique opportunity for attendees to participate in a unique event which is devoted to the sharing of information and the empowering of project officers and workers in the field of Indigenous advancement strategy programs. In our everyday working environment the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at governmental level the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited, this is why this conference will be so valuable to participants.


Indigenous Employment Program Coordinators, Academics, Apprenticeship Program Coordinators, Australian Disability Enterprises, Indigenous Businesses/Business owners, Career Guidance Officers, Disability Employment Services, Educators, Employment Specialists, Career Coaches, Case Managers,  Mentors and Consultants, Federal and State Government Representatives, Human Resources and Diversity Managers​, Industry Leaders, Job Services Australia, Local Employment Coordinators​, Policy and Research Managers, Psychologists working with Indigenous job seekers and Organisational Psychologists, Remote Employment Representatives, Researchers, Return/Back to Work and Rehabilitation Counselors, Social Workers, Corporate Social Responsibility Managers, Social Inclusion Groups and Special Interest Groups, Registered Training Organizations, Training/Professional Development, Work Advocacy Groups, Youth Employment Programs, Health workers and professionals, Indigenous professional bodies and other organisations, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Aboriginal Community Organisations, Policy makers, Community representatives, Government – Local, State/Territory and Commonwealth, Aboriginal Youth Engagement Officers, Aboriginal Police Liaison Officers, Jobseekers & Teachers, Elders and all Interested Individuals with interest in Indigenous Affairs



The 2018 National Indigenous Employment Conference is designed as an educational tool for healing and professional development. ICS wishes to invite Indigenous and non-indigenous people from Australia and internationally to attend the conference to share and gather information in Canberra.  We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to networking and sharing experiences.


Come and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. So that we may share each other’s stories and ideas in an atmosphere that empowers and strengthens all delegates.



​As an employee, professional development is an ongoing process and needs to be kept continually updated with the latest industry trends and methodology.  Listed below are valid points that can be put forward to the employer to justify your attendance at the conference.

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tends to become long term employees.

  • An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff.

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training.

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisations knowledge base.

  • Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally.

  • Provide opportunities for organisations to develop new ideas and program innovations.

  • Gives organisations a voice at a national level.

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • The event is conducted over a 2 or 3 day period, hence staff are only absent for a minimal amount of time.


Guidelines in Submitting Paper:

  • Papers should not contain offensive language and take into account cultural sensitivities of Australian first nation people.

  • Papers must treat the themes in a manner that contributes to further discussion of conference aims.

  • Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less than 60 days prior to the event.

  • First round of calling for papers closing date will be on 28th February 2018; with a second, if required which closes on 30thMarch 2018

  • Papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted in the second round

  • Papers MUST be submitted in Microsoft Word format.  Papers other than this format will NOT be considered.

  • Authors of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of their acceptance in writing.

  • Registration fee of $650 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable within 7 days upon notification  acceptance of papers.

  • Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.

  • All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light.

  • To submit a paper, please complete the online form at this link: SUBMIT A PAPER HERE




8:30 AM               REGISTRATION    
9:00 AM               MC/HOUSEKEEPING      
9.30 AM               Welcome to Country & Traditional Performers
9:40 AM               Group photo with performers, Elders and all delegates
9:45 AM               JOINT OPENING KEYNOTE Closing the Gap - Marching forward towards 2020
10:30 AM             MORNING TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
11:00 AM             KEYNOTE     Are our Indigenous employment programs fit for the future?
11:45 AM             KEYNOTE     Work for the Dole Program - Have we hit the mark?
12:30 PM             LUNCH BREAK & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A      Barriers to employability for Indigenous Youth At-Risks
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B      Building Indigenous careers: A pathway to employment
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A      Practical strategies to prepare Indigenous young people for work
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B      Successes and Challenges of Employment First Model of Service
3:00 PM                AFTERNOON TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
3:30 PM                KEYNOTE     Delivering Employment Services in Partnership with Non-Gov't and Government Organisations
4:15 PM                KEYNOTE     Does jobactive pathway works for Indigenous jobseekers in gaining sustainable employment?


DAY 2             
9:00 AM               JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC)    The Long Road Forward: Strategic Partnership with Indigenous Organisations working towards 2020
9.45 AM               JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC)    Improving Indigenous Education Changing the Conversation
10:30 AM             MORNING TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
11:00 AM             CONCURRENT SESSION A     Outcomes of funded employment services: How do we achieve success?
11:00 AM             CONCURRENT SESSION B     Digital Technology - An alternative for remote employment service delivery
11:45 AM             CONCURRENT SESSION A     Are our Indigenous employment programs fit for the future?
11:45 AM             CONCURRENT SESSION B     Work for the Dole Program - Have we hit the mark?
12:30 PM             LUNCH BREAK & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A     Working in Partnership with the Community 
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B     Working in Partnership with Government
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A     Innovative Engagement
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B     Restart Wage Subsidy: Helping the Long Term Unemployed return to work
3:00 PM                AFTERNOON TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
3:30 PM                JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC)           Developing a career through sport             

4:15 PM                  INTERACTIVE PANEL            Discussion Panel - Where To From Here
5:00 PM                 END OF CONFERENCE         Distribution of Certificates

For 2018, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences. Day 3 is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass and comes with a course certificate. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. This year’s program features a strong selection of Leadership and Empowerment topics for workers in Indigenous sector and practitioners at every level of experience and expertise.


(Please note the above agenda is subject to change without prior notice and is draft agenda only which is published to serve as a guide to those submitting paper). 


(Please note the above agenda is subject to change without prior notice and is draft agenda only which is published to serve as a guide to those submitting paper). 







REGISTRATION FEES (REGISTER TO GET A DISCOUNT!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations which changes on a monthly basis. Hence, the earlier you register the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments, for registered delegates only.  Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation.  Registration fee is non-refundable and payment  must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice.  Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.

To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at


As they say, all work and no play, makes for a dull conference. The conference dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further enrich and develop their personal and professional contacts whilst letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner is $150 per person for a three course meal which is additional to the conference registration fees and must be indicated under the section of the conference registration on-line booking form and must be made prior to the event. Additional tickets for an extra non-delegate guest are available at the same cost of $150.00 each, as such delegates are encouraged to bring a guest.



Canberra is Australia’s capital, inland from the country's southeast coast. Surrounded by forest, farmland and nature reserves, it earns its nickname, the "Bush Capital.” The city's focal point is Lake Burley Griffin, filled with sailboats and kayaks. On the lake shore is the massive, strikingly modern Parliament House, as well as museums including the National Gallery, known for its Indigenous art collections. When you visit Canberra, prepare to experience one good thing after another. Because whether it’s world-class wining and dining, iconic national treasures or breathtaking adventures, everything you’re after is just moments away.  A home away from home for accommodations and celebrations enjoyed by all including Royalty, Foreign dignitaries, world famous entertainers, prime ministers and US Presidents


The Rex Hotel has been beautifully restored to its former glory, making it one of Canberra’s prominent landmarks the epitome of classic elegance and style. With stunning rooms, spacious suites, amazing apartments, fabulous restaurant, fantastic facilities and personal service, there is really no where better to stay.

Canberra’s most spacious and luxurious Presidential suite awaits the discerning traveller, bride and groom, or for that special weekend escapes.Located on Northbourne Avenue, the gateway to the CBD, the hotel offers warm and personal service with a unique blend of bespoke accommodations styling with modern comfort to meet the needs of guests today.

A convenient central location, with easy access to National attractions, shopping, restaurants and business precedents make the Rex Hotel the obvious choice.

Relax and keep fit in our recreation centre with gym and 20 metre indoor pool. Why not stay in one of our, spa, steam or sauna suites for that ultimate experience. Enjoy the convenience of 24 hour reception and complementary Wi-Fi to keep in touch with work colleagues and the office.


The Canberra Rex Hotel features 900 square meters of event space equipped with the latest facilities and technology in Canberra’s City Centre. Offering 7 meeting rooms and 2 ballrooms, the Canberra Rex Hotel event spaces can be easily configured to accommodate a variety of different events. 
















The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.

1. ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates by using the below code:


Hotel Booking Code:                                      

 To access this price, you must contact the hotel directly and quote the event name.

2. TRAVEL: We have engaged Hello World (formerly Harvey World Travel) Hervey Bay to negotiate with all the relevant airlines for special or discounted airfare rates.

One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. When asking for a quote through Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) you must pick:

  1. Airfares only

  2. Airfares & Accommodation

Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) can be contacted on 07 41281900  Toll free 1800 688993   



Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGOs or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to take into account the time that is required to obtain funding. Further advantage to using Hello World Travel for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent, if required.



If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia.  To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invite from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost.  This is refundable if visas are not approve, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online by searching the Australian Government website and accessing the Department Of Immigration and border protection site. For your convenience we have added the link to our website, which


Phone  07 4194 2803

From outside of Australia +61 7 419 428 03

Cell Phone 0455776668

Snail Mail: 8 Kiwi Court Point Vernon QLD Australia