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Indigenous Affairs

Defence is proud of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have contributed to the defence of Australia in times of peace and war. Defence acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of country and is committed to increasing the role of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Public Service (APS).

The Directorate of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) sits within the Diversity(CoDE) to ensure Defence's Indigenous priorities are aligned to broader change programs and to improve the services delivered by Defence People Group.

DIA manages the portfolio of work established through the:

These two strategies encompass recruitment, retention and cultural programs which are implemented across the entire Defence organisation, including Navy, Army and Air Force.

Defence is committed to the Commonwealth Government Indigenous employment target of 2.5 per cent by 2018 and procurement target of 3 per cent by 2020.

Defence Indigenous Representation March 2013 - February 2015.
  Mar-13 Feb-14 Feb-15
ADF % % %
Permanent 1.0 1.2 1.3
Active Reserve 1.7 1.8 1.8
Navy % % %
Permanent 1.2 1.4 1.7
Active Reserve 0.7 0.7 0.6
Army % % %
Permanent 1.1 1.3 1.4
Active Reserve 2.3 2.5 2.6
Air Force      
Permanent 0.6 0.9 1.0
Active Reserve 0.5 0.7 0.7
APS      
Ongoing 0.7 0.8 1.0
Non-ongoing 1.2 0.8 0.8

To achieve these strategic objectives, Defence continues to engage with the public through universities, TAFEs, schools, community groups, businesses partnering in community engagement and government agencies.