Targeted recruitment for greater diversity

Proactive recruitment of Aboriginal nurses and midwives has resulted in 24 graduate positions across WA being offered in 2017, nearly double the number offered in 2016.

Female nurses standing on a stairway
(Right to Left) Marra Thorne, Enrolled Nurse; Shari Pilkington, Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife; Lateia Turner Biggs, Registered Nurse; Deanna Hanson, Enrolled Nurse; Gningla Taylor, Registered Nurse and Melissa Lynch, Registered Nurse

The Nursing and Midwifery Office, in partnership with Health Services Providers, has undertaken a targeted recruitment of Aboriginal graduates to broaden the diversity of the WA health system skilled workforce.

Using Section 51 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (external site), which allows agencies to increase the representation of a particular racial group, graduate positions were offered to 66 per cent of nurses and midwives who identified as Aboriginal.

Before the implementation of Section 51, only 38 per cent of nurses and midwives who identified as Aboriginal secured a graduate position.

The piloting of Section 51 in recruitment processes complements the WA health system’s Aboriginal workforce strategy that aims to develop a strong, skilled and growing Aboriginal workforce, including clinical, non-clinical and leadership roles.

The positions were offered to graduate enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives.

The graduates will be based at public hospitals across the State, including Armadale, Broome, Busselton, Fiona Stanley, Kalgoorlie, Princess Margaret, Rockingham, Royal Perth, Sir Charles Gairdner, Narrogin and King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The Department of Health Aboriginal Cadetship Program has also contributed to supporting Aboriginal university students in gaining experience and work-ready skills.

The WA health system will continue to pilot Section 51 to increase the Aboriginal workforce.