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Complete First Nations governance and management

AES Board

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy is pleased to announce its transition to full Indigenous governance and management.

Coinciding with Indigenous Business Month, the AES journey reflects the importance of this year’s theme ACTIONS TODAY, IMPACT TOMORROW, inspiring the next generation of First Nations business leaders and growth of the sector.

Newly appointed Chair Glen Brennan, a Gomeroi man from Narrabri, said it was a milestone for the organisation, the Aboriginal community and Indigenous Business Sector.

“25 years ago, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy was started on Gomeroi/Kamilaroi country to empower our people, creating a model to make social change. Our journey since has been one of ongoing growth, working towards this day where we have full Indigenous control and management”

“We are so proud. It is something we have been working towards and shows the determination, resilience, and success of our people,” Glen said.

The AES works with more than 550 employers across Australia each year to create career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. 16 regionally based offices across four states and territories, work locally to support more than 1,150 career opportunities each year.

Part of the approach is working with the employer to support cultural competency and understanding, and helping individuals develop skills and capabilities they need for career success.

Managing Director Kristy Masella, a proud Murri South Sea Islander woman from Darumbal Country, has been at the helm of the AES since 2014. She says the change is an important step in the AES strategic vision.

“We are at an exciting junction in our journey as an organisation. Moving to full Indigenous control is more than a symbolic change. It reflects the passion and drive of our AES staff who are at the heart of our mission of a career opportunity for every Indigenous Australia,” Kristy said.

“To coincide with the month-long celebration, we have released our statement of Impact to share how our actions today are impacting tomorrow.”

“95% of our staff are First Nations, representing more than 140 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language/clan groups nationally. We are proud that Aboriginal women make up a significant portion of our senior management. Being a part of the communities in which we operate – that makes a big difference,” said Kristy.

Jason Smith is a proud descendant of both the Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri people, and Executive Director of the AES. Jason has nearly 20 years’ service with the AES across the north western region of NSW and nationally.

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve seen the direct impact of our programs. For every dollar of government funding, the AES delivers $4.50 in value to society*. It’s not just a job, it’s an uplift for the whole family and community to thrive,” said Jason.


Over the last 25 years, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy has delivered 25,000 career opportunities and counting, working with more than 550 employers nationally to support career opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

Read the full Story of Impact here.


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