CDWI Public Lecture Series: Simon Jovanovic, Byamee Institute

simon jovanovic

Simon Jovanovic from the Byamee Institute and Macquarie University presented on the topic of Flushing out the hidden assumptions in the New South Wales Governments Aboriginal employment policy. This lecture took place on 27 July 2022.


Since the mid-1970s, the New South Wales public service has afforded Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander people racialised positions in the bureaucracy under the guise of race-based ‘Aboriginal’ employment policies. Ostensibly, these NSW Government Aboriginal employment policies aim to improve the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in government agencies.

This presentation critiques selected Aboriginal employment policy texts of the NSW Government from the 1980s to the present day. It exposes the hidden assumptions, problematic representations and racial categories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in policy text to understand better how Aboriginal employment is formed, shaped, and reformed in the NSW public service. The presentation uses Bacchi’s (2012) What is the Problem Represented to be? and Fairclough’s (2015) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to uncover and explore the policy discourses at play in the selected Aboriginal employment policy texts.

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