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First Peoples

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Working paper

Understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee decisions to exit the Australian Public Service

Employee mental health Employee protection Public servants Government relations with First Peoples Industrial relations Economics Australia

Despite some success in recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Australian Public Service (APS), the long-term trend is one of declining representation. A fundamental issue is that rates of separation among Indigenous public servants remain consistently greater than those of their non-Indigenous counterparts.

The research presented here seeks to understand the reasons Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees opt to leave the APS. Drawing on the analysis of existing datasets, and original interviews with former and current APS employees, the findings presented here offer insights into the key factors involved in APS employment. The paper also raises important implications for strategies that aim to increase rates of Indigenous employment in the APS.

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