Department of Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal EducationTeaching and LearningAIEO Program GuidelinesPrincipals ‹ Recruitment and selection of AIEOs

Recruitment and selection of AIEOs

The AIEO program is conducted under Australian and Western Australian Government initiatives to improve educational provisions for Aboriginal students and increase employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the Department. To support Aboriginal students effectively, AIEO positions in the Department must be filled by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Information regarding recruitment and selection can be located  on the Workforce Division website.


Advertising for AIEO positions must include Aboriginality as a prerequisite under section 50(d) of the Equal Opportunity Act (1984) (refer to the Public Sector Commission brochure - Sections 50(d) and 51 of the Act). This must also be stated on the AIEO job description form.

Principals may request applicants to show proof of Aboriginality. An applicant may provide:

To attract a competitive field of applicants, principals may consider advertising in places and media familiar to Aboriginal people such as:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment agencies;
  • local registered training organisations;
  • notice boards of Aboriginal organisations and shops in the local area;
  • the Generation One website;
  • the Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre website; and
  • Aboriginal media such as local radio stations and Aboriginal newspapers (e.g. the Koori Mail).

Other methods include:

  • spreading the word around the community that a position will soon be advertised;
  • asking the school’s network if there is anyone with experience, capacity and interest in the job;
  • distributing copies of the job advertisement to the school’s network; and
  • contacting the manager of Aboriginal education in the region. Managers may be aware of suitable candidates.

There may be an opportunity to run a short workshop on job application and interview procedures to assist potential applicants with the process. This is a good time to discuss the requirements of the job. Talk to the local manager of Aboriginal education.

Principals may also use alternative application methods such as a resume only and/or a written statement of suitability that may consist of only one page. Further examples of alternative application methods are in Achieving Equity and Diversity through Recruitment and Selection (Sign In).  The Working in Harmony (Sign In)online resource is also useful.

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The selection panel should comprise of at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who can provide advice on responsibilities unique to the position. The selection panel may implement culturally sensitive practices in interviews such as:

  • arranging seating in a circle instead of around a table/desk in a boardroom or lecture format;
  • requesting that the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander panel member greets the applicant and provides instructions to put the applicant at ease;
  • informing the interviewee that they may ask questions to be repeated; and
  • asking questions in an informal manner and in clear, simple language as English may be a second or third language for applicants.

The selection panel should also consider:

  • asking the interviewee who their family group is and where they are from. This is considered respectful and important;
  • if the interviewee avoids eye contact it may be a cultural practice of respect. If this is the case reciprocate the practice being modelled;
  • accepting brief answers to interview questions as generally in Aboriginal culture value is placed on a brief reply rather than detailed elaborations; and
  • requesting advice from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander panel member as to the most appropriate way of acknowledging a person’s presence prior to interview.
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AIEO appointments are made:

AIEO FTE is allocated to schools using a formula which takes into account the number of Aboriginal students enrolled in a school, the year level of the Aboriginal students and the socio-economic index of the school.

Information regarding the AIEO allocation process can be obtained from the relevant regional Human Resource Consultant in the School Staffing Services Directorate on 9264 4412. The HRMIS Diversity Questions form [Sign In] should be included in the employee commencement package.

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Flexibility in the use of AIEO allocation

Where schools identify a specific need and the AIEO allocation of Australian Government funds designated for improving Aboriginal employment is converted to another position, Aboriginal employment under section 50(d) is still required. This means that if a school decides to convert an AIEO position, then the new position must be filled by an Aboriginal person. When an AIEO takes leave, a non-Aboriginal person cannot fill the position, even on a temporary basis.

For advice or queries on recruiting, selecting and appointing AIEOs, the Senior Consultant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Programs in Workforce Policy and Coordination can be contacted on 9264 4589.

Recruitment and selection of AIEOs

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