Russell Lingwoodock with fellow Indigenous staff members Deborah Stiles (right) and Sherrilee Bailiee
Russell Lingwoodock with fellow Indigenous staff members Deborah Stiles (right) and Sherrilee Bailiee
22 February 2011

The University of Queensland has signaled its continuing commitment to recruit and retain Indigenous staff by signing the Australian Employment Covenant (AEC).

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Keniger, who is also the Chair of UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Steering Committee (ATSIESC), signed the agreement on December 15.

The AEC is a national program which promotes the development of 50,000 new jobs for Indigenous Australians.

“I think the covenant will put us on the map and display the commitment from the top in terms of the University reaching their target,” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recruitment Coordinator Tracey Pickwick said.

Since 2008 Ms Pickwick and the ATSIESC team have successfully increased the number of casual Indigenous employees by 600 percent (from eight to 48) and more than doubled the number of continuing and fixed term contract Indigenous staff to 48.

Ms Pickwick said part of the process involved implementing culturally appropriate training programs and professional advancement opportunities.

Russell Lingwoodock was hired as a casual employee three years ago and has since completed a business certificate and secured a permanent position within UQ’s Advancement Office.

“I have regular contact with other Indigenous employees at UQ, and participate in events and support programs,” Mr Lingwoodock said.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is another early success story, having recently employed five Indigenous business administration trainees and additional academic and professional staff members.

Faculty Executive Officer Shaughn Forbes said providing appropriate levels of training and support was a key part of the recruitment process.

With the AEC now signed, Ms Pickwick’s goal is to see Indigenous academic and professional staff employed across the breadth of UQ’s operations.

She said part of her role was to make the Indigenous community more aware of the employment opportunities available at UQ.

“When I help one person get a job others come to me; it’s like a chain reaction and I can help the local Aboriginal community secure a better future for themselves,” she said.

Ms Pickwick encouraged those interested in finding out more to contact her at

Media: Tracey Pickwick (07 3365 4790, or Allison Rock at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619,