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Transferring skills and using

professional experience

improves the capability of

Indigenous organisations

Indigenous-led organisations are crucial agents

in Indigenous empowerment. They drive agendas

that reflect Indigenous priorities and voices,

deliver culturally appropriate services, and create

employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

Importantly, they also create confidence among

Indigenous communities that development solutions

are coming from within.

Jawun, through the deployment of skilled

people, improves the effectiveness of Indigenous

organisations in delivering outcomes to the

community. Its core model for doing this is placement

of secondees—experienced professionals ‘borrowed’

from the 30 or so corporate and government

agencies that partner with Jawun.

A secondee will usually work in an Indigenous

organisation for six weeks, but sometimes for three

months or even longer. In supporting organisations

to achieve their goals, secondees follow a principle of

subsidiarity, where decisions are made by the people

closest to and most affected by the issues. This

principle is crucial in tying their efforts to a broader

notion of Indigenous empowerment, and underpins

Jawun’s emphasis on capacity building.

In its impact evaluation of the Jawun model, KPMG

describes this capacity building as ‘an explicit effort

to improve an organisation’s performance in relation

to its purpose’, through a process which ‘may require

new skills or changes in individual behaviour or

changes to an organisation’s structure, systems,

procedures, culture and/or strategies and decision-

making processes’

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By the end of 2017 Jawun will have placed more than

2,500 secondees in 115 Indigenous organisations

in 10 regions of Australia. In total, this contribution

will have provided over 600,000 hours of support.

Indigenous partner organisations deliver services and

drive outcomes across a variety of areas critical to

the social and economic development of Indigenous

people (Figure 6). Taken together, it is a compelling

contribution to Indigenous-led development.

Jawun made us look at all different dimensions of the business

and the organisation and the way it worked. We had a lot of

people with good intentions and total commitment to the

organisation, but they lacked skills. And Jawun gave us those.