Office for the Public Sector


Jawun Executive Secondments

South Australian Government Executives, and those aspiring to be executives, can now access paid secondments with Indigenous-led community organisations – working shoulder to shoulder with executives from the private sector.

In order to combine strategies to further develop the talent of SA Government executives, and support practical reconciliation in South Australia, the South Australian Government has formed a partnership with the not-for-profit organisation Jawun. This partnership provides six week residential placements that benefit Indigenous-led organisations and their communities.

Through the placement of private and public sector executives, Jawun increases the capacity of Indigenous leaders, organisations and communities to achieve their own development goals. This in turn leads to sustained, material and measurable improvements in the lives of Indigenous people in those communities. Opportunities are currently available in supporting Ngarrindjeri-led organisations in the Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong region.

Secondments are residential and are typically for six weeks. For the duration of the secondment, secondees remain employees of their home agency at their existing salary. The home agency also funds the secondee’s on costs such as food, travel and accommodation.

Secondment Dates for 2017-2018

Round  Applications Due By Arrive
Begin Induction Monday Camping      Mon-Thurs Commence Friday Debrief Friday Depart Saturday Exec
Four 2017 11 Aug 2017 22-Oct 23-Oct 23-26 Oct 27-Oct 01-Dec 02-Dec  Nov


Round Applications Due By Arrive
Begin Induction Monday Camping      Mon-Thurs Commence Friday Debrief Friday Depart Saturday Exec
One 2018 16 Dec 2017 25-Feb 26-Feb 26-1 Mar 2-Mar 6-Apr 7-Apr  TBA
Two 2018 23 Feb 2018 6-May 7-May 7-10 May 11-May 15-Jun 16- Jun
Three 2018 25 May 2018 5-Aug 6-Aug 6-9 Aug 10-Aug 14-Sep 15-Sep
Four 2018 11 Aug 2018 21-Oct 22-Oct 22-25 Oct 26-Oct 30-Nov 01-Dec

Information Sessions for South Australian Government 2017

A number of one-hour information sessions will be scheduled during 2017 to provide further information on what to expect from a Jawun Executive Secondment. To book, click on the date for the session in which you’re interested.

These sessions also provide an opportunity to meet the SA Director of Jawun and previous SA Government Jawun secondees.  Alternatively, SA Government Agencies can request a Jawun Information Session to be delivered in-house.

For further details please contact the OPS Jawun Program Co-ordinator.


Public and Private Sector Executives Working Together

Jawun is a national organisation that began in 2001. Apart from the SA Government, Jawun has also developed a range of private sector partnerships with organisations such as Westpac, KPMG, Wesfarmers, nab, Leighton Contractors, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, QBE, Woodside, News Corp, Telstra, Macquarie, and the RAA.  Working alongside corporate executives provides significant networking opportunities for SA Government secondees.


Video from the Jawun site where Corporate partners talk about the benefits of Jawun.

How Jawun works

A number of steps are involved in placing skilled secondees into Indigenous organisations:

  1. Projects for support are identified: Indigenous organisations outline their priorities.
  2. Skills required are identified: Jawun helps Indigenous organisations think through the skills required from secondees.
  3. Secondees are matched with projects: Jawun works with corporate and government partners to identify suitable secondees.
  4. Induction and support: Jawun manages the secondee’s induction into the region and provides ongoing support during their secondment (typically six weeks).

Jawun is a Residential Secondment

A Jawun secondment is likely to be both a challenging and rewarding experience.  As a live-in residential program, it offers cultural immersion in a new kind of working environment.  Participants often report that, at the beginning of the secondment, they are frequently working out of their comfort zone.  However, in a recent review of the Jawun program, 80% of secondees reported that their Jawun secondment was the most impactful development program they had ever attended.

The program is designed to be immersive.  To fully benefit from the program, secondees will require the support of their workplace and family in order to leave for the duration of the secondment.  At times, there may be opportunities to engage in community activities outside of the normal required working hours.  Secondees will usually be able to travel home on weekends.

Accommodation typically involves secondees having their own room in a house shared by one or two other secondees.  It is recommended that nominees go to Jawun’s website for more detailed information and discuss any concerns with their Agency and/or the OPS Jawun Program Co-ordinator, prior to submitting a nomination.


All placements will involve a four-day induction program (including camping out and other cultural experiences), a five week project period and debriefing and evaluation sessions.

Case Studies: Previous SA Government Jawun Secondments

While relatively new in South Australia, the South Australian Government has already partnered with Jawun to provide three successful secondments.  You can read more about their experiences below.

Sandra Russel

Sandra Russell: Department for Correctional Services – Case study One – Designing an Atlas of the Ngarrindjeri Nation (PDF) 189KB.

Mac Bollella

Immacolata ‘Mac’ Bollella: Department of Treasury and Finance – Case Study Two: Designing a Marketing and Branding Strategy for the Ngarrindjeri Nation (PDF) 89KB.

Michael Gibbs

Micheal Gibbs: Office for the Public Sector – Case Study Three: Organisational Development Strategies for the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority (PDF) 333KB

Applying for a Jawun Executive Secondment

The program is co-ordinated on the behalf of the South Australian Government by the Office for the Public Sector. Participation is through a selection process for one of the four rounds in 2017.

Whilst this program is aimed at the executive level, employees at the AS06 level and above may still apply.

A Nomination Form to guide your application appears in the link below.

Jawun Nomination Form 2017 (PDF) 675KB

While executive employees may nominate at any time for any of the four placements on offer in 2017, formal interviews and the making of offers will occur approximately eight to ten weeks prior to each secondment round.

In the private sector, Jawun secondments are frequently recognised as a pathway to higher level executive roles.  While relatively new for SA Government, it’s expected that nominations for the limited number of Jawun places will be highly competitive.

It is critically important that you gain the support of your Agency Chief Executive prior to submitting your nomination.  It is also recommended that you discuss your nomination with the OPS Jawun Program Co-ordinator prior to submitting your application.

Further information

  • Attend a Jawun Executive Secondment Information Session
  • Visit the Jawun web site
  • Contact the OPS Program Co-ordinator
    or on telephone 08 8226 2951
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