Indigenous Employment Initiative

What is the Indigenous Employment Initiative?

The Indigenous Employment Initiative grant program is part of the Health Workforce Program, an Australian Government initiative administered by the Department of Health to improve heath workforce outcomes.

The program is not designed for, and is not intended to, fund the total cost of an aged care service’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care workforce. The jobs and number of hours required to be worked is determined by the aged care service provider in line with their service delivery needs. The Department does not direct services on how these allocations are to be made.



The Indigenous Employment Initiative grant opportunity is for the revised Indigenous Employment Initiative program, which merges five existing aged care employment programs, and two associated training programs, that commenced between 2007 and 2010 into a single program. The merged programs are:

Employment component

  • Building an Indigenous Workforce in Community Care;
  • Cape York Jobs Package;
  • National Jobs Creation Package;
  • Northern Territory Jobs Package; and
  • Torres Strait Island Jobs Package.

Training component

  • Northern Territory Training program; and
  • Rural and Remote Training program.



The objective of this program is to fund jobs that contribute to the delivery of culturally-appropriate aged care for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Funding is provided for wages and training. In recognition of individual service needs and workforce requirements, funding can be
combined or split by aged care services to allow flexible employment arrangements.



The Australian Government has announced funding up to $84.057 million (GST exclusive) over three financial years (2020-21 to 2022-23) for the Indigenous Employment Initiative program.

Each grant amount will be $36,840 GST exclusive per annum, comprising two parts: employment subsidy ($30,056 GST exclusive) and training subsidy ($6,784 GST exclusive).


Eligible Projects

The grant must only be used to subsidise the employment and training costs of each supported employee.

  • Wages must be paid at the higher of:
    • The relevant award rate; or
    • The rate being paid to other equivalent employees in your organisation.
  • Training and associated costs for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person employed through the Indigenous Employment Initiative program.

It is your responsibility to meet any shortfall in employment and training costs.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • Wages and employment on-costs; and
  • Training, tuition and associated costs, including training consumables, economy travel and accommodation.


Eligible Applicants

To qualify for the Indigenous Employment Initiative program

  • The employing organisation must provide aged care services to older Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; and
  • The employee must identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, and be accepted as such by the community in which the person lives or formerly lived.

To be eligible to receive funding you must be one of the organisations listed at Appendix A of the guidelines.

This is a targeted competitive process. An open competitive process was deemed not suitable for this grant opportunity. For a national program that aims to provide culturally-appropriate aged care to older Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people where ever they live, especially in rural and
remote locations, there are few aged care providers. Inviting the organisations that have successfully provided the required services for a number of years is considered the most appropriate approach.



Applications close 24 April 2020.


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