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Impact on individuals

Individuals who participate in a Jawun secondment

describe it as a unique and transformative

experience—many go so far as to call it ‘life-



Secondees benefit both personally and

professionally from the opportunity, gaining deeper

insights into Indigenous culture, a broadening of

cultural perspectives, development in emotional

intelligence and accelerated career growth.

I got so much more back from the

secondment experience than I think

I was able to contribute: an awareness

of myself, and how I am as a part of

this country and this earth.




The individual ‘why’

Learn about Indigenous culture

Professional development

New challenge

Personal satisfaction

Make a contribution

The motivators for participating in a Jawun

secondment are as diverse as the people involved;

however, there are a number of common drivers.

The opportunity for a

professional challenge

was a key factor for many. Ben Tan from KPMG

said: ‘Most of my work is around education and

human services so the secondment was a great

professional development opportunity.’ Nina Kordic

from IAG had a similar drive: ‘From a professional

point of view, I wanted to do something that would

stretch me in a way I hadn’t been stretched in a

corporate environment.’

Another strong motivator was the desire to


and understand more about Indigenous culture


Chris Simpson, formerly of KPMG, said: ‘I wanted

to get an idea of Indigenous affairs in Australia

beyond what I’d studied and read in newspapers.

I’d studied law and spent a lot of time on native

title and recognition, but there was no exposure

to what’s currently going on and what that

means for people.’ Jodie Symes from Allens was

similarly driven by a ‘thirst for knowledge. I felt

very ignorant of Indigenous affairs as a whole,

so I wanted to get involved in the program to

understand the issues for myself.’

For the secondees, the ability to give back to

the community through their work was seen

as intrinsically linked to

increased personal


. Jaimes Adlington from Westpac

said: ‘I wanted something to give me that extra

bit of satisfaction. There was the feeling: “I want

to contribute something else.”’ Other secondees

mentioned the desire for a new challenge or a way

to marry personal interests with their professional

life. Dr Tracey Benson from the Department of

Industry and Science commented: ‘I thought it was

a great way of combining the things I’m interested

in outside of work with the things I’m doing at work.’

Renee Schicks from Commonwealth Bank Australia

reflected: ‘I was looking for an opportunity to be

able to use all the skills I’d learnt over my career

to see if I could add some value and provide a

social benefit—and Jawun provided the perfect

opportunity to do that.’ Tanya Kaye from KPMG

agreed: ‘I really wanted to make a difference and

to be able to see the difference on the ground.’

Experiential learning drives attitudinal

and behavioural change

The primary purpose of a Jawun secondment is to

help build capability and capacity in Indigenous

organisations through the transfer of skills from

secondee to employees of those organisations.

However, genuine two-way skills and knowledge

transfer also occurs, which drives attitudinal and

behavioural change in secondees.

In his 1938 book

Experience and Education

, John

Dewey wrote: ‘There is an intimate and necessary

relation between the process of actual experience

and education.’


The immersive nature of a Jawun

secondment brings about attitudinal change by

exposing individuals to a specific and unique ‘out

of comfort zone’ learning experience over a set

period of time, and in an environment of which they

typically have little prior knowledge, predetermined

views or stereotypical perceptions.


Fostering a new

mind-set is important in changing behaviour and

enabling an individual to perform more effectively.


Perceptions are challenged and changed

Increased awareness

Greater understanding

Australian identity

Jawun secondees typically reported that the

immediate impact of a secondment was that their

preconceptions were challenged.


For the majority

of them, a Jawun secondment represented their

first opportunity to meaningfully engage with

Indigenous people.