Office for the Public Sector


Jawun Executive Secondments

South Australian Government managers and executives, and those aspiring to become executives, can now access secondments with Indigenous-led community organisations – working closely with executives from the private sector.

Important Message

In response to COVID-19, the Jawun Secondment Program has been deferred. Jawun is currently working with Aboriginal Communities to determine a recommencement timeframe for the program.

A revised schedule will be posted once it has been established.

In the meantime, click here if you would like to watch our brand new virtual ‘On the Couch’ series.  Or click here to access a tool to help you lead during times of change.

Thank you

South Australian Leadership Academy team

The South Australian Government has formed a partnership with the not-for-profit organisation Jawun, to develop the talent of SA Government managers and executives, and support practical reconciliation in South Australia. This partnership provides six-week residential placements that benefit both the Indigenous-led organisations, their communities, and the participants. Through the placement of private and public sector managers and 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.

How Jawun works

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

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

Opportunities are currently available in supporting organisations in one of the following two regions:

Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong – The Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong region is home to the Ngarrindjeri nation. The Ngarrindjeri’s traditional areas extend one hour south-east of Adelaide from Mannum, and downstream through Murray Bridge and Victor Harbor and along the coast through Goolwa to Cape Jervis, including Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert. In this region, there is a growing desire among Ngarrindjeri people to create a future centred on caring for country, which incorporates respect for traditions, cultural responsibility and self-determination. Current initiatives are focused on research, land management and developing a sustainable Ngarrindjeri regional economy. Click here to read the case study: Growing opportunity on Ngarrindjeri lands or for more information about the Lower River Murray, Lakes and Coorong region click here to visit the Jawun website.

Far West Coast – Jawun’s newest region at the Far West Coast has an Aboriginal population of approximately 1,100 people and five smaller Aboriginal communities – Oak Valley, Yalata, Scotdesco, Koonibba, and Ceduna. The leaders of key organisations in this region have identified the following areas that need to be addressed:

  • Maintenance, strengthening and promotion of Aboriginal culture
  • Lack of economic and social development opportunities
  • Poor education and consequent lack of real employment opportunities
  • Poor health outcomes
  • Lack of resources and suitably qualified workers in remote communities
  • High cost of delivery of services to remote locations
  • Lack of recreational and other creative alternatives.

For more information about the Far West Coast region click here to visit the Jawun website.

Secondment Dates for 2020

Round Begin Induction & Placement End Placement
One 2020 17 February 2020 27 March 2020
Two 2020 Cancelled Cancelled
Three 2020 TBA TBA
Four 2020 TBA TBA

How to Apply for a Jawun Executive Secondment

Applications are now open for 2020 Jawun Secondments, a highly recommended leadership development experience for senior managers and executives in the South Australian Public Sector. Participation is through a selection process for one of the three rounds each year. Although this program is aimed at management and executive level, employees at the ASO6 level and above may still apply. Please Click here for the 2020 Nomination Form

Jawun Information Session will be held on: TBA



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 form.  It is also recommended that you discuss your nomination with the Jawun Program Coordinator prior to submitting your application – please email

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, RAA and the Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.  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.

What does a Residential Secondment Involve?

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.  Prior to submitting a nomination it is recommended that nominees visit Jawun’s website ( for more detailed information and discuss any concerns with their Agency and/or the Jawun Program Co-ordinator (email 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.

How much does a Jawun Executive Secondment cost?

Jawun Executive Secondment Costs: The costs may vary depending on the secondee group size, the secondment regional location, and whether Jawun need to hire a car for the secondee. As a guide the costs range from $4,000 – $6,000 per secondee and the total amount is invoiced to the home agency at the completion of the secondment. This includes:

  • Accommodation for the 6 week secondment
  • Induction week travel, meals, cultural tours and incidentals

Home Agency Costs:

  • Staff wages over duration of the secondment (secondees remain employees of their home agency at their existing salary)
  • Applicable staff allowances, i.e. meals and incidentals etc.
  • Car hire and fuel (only if required)
  • Laptop and internet access (only if required)

The above costs are based on current SA Government rates and awards as per the Commissioner’s Determinations.

Case Studies: Previous SA Government Jawun Secondments

Sandra Russel Sandra Russell, Department for Correctional Services Case Study One: Designing an Atlas of the Ngarrindjeri Nation – click here to view Case Study One (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 – click here to view Case Study Two (PDF) 89KB Michael Gibbs Micheal Gibbs, Office for the Public Sector Case Study Three: Organisational Development Strategies for the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority – click here to view Case Study Three (PDF) 333KB

How to Obtain Further Information

Back to top