Growing our Own: Workforce development in an urban Indigenous health organisation

The 2018 National Employment Solutions Conference will be held at Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads, NSW over the 8th – 9th October.

The conference provides the opportunity to be involved through presenting, learning, engaging, networking and collaborating with other professionals within the employment sector.

Joining us at the conference is Mrs Cassie Daniel, Team Leader, Organisational Development (youth) at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health who will present on ‘Growing our Own: Workforce development in an urban Indigenous health organisation’.


Developing an effective workforce in Indigenous health requires an inter-disciplinary, integrated approach across schools, universities and workplaces. The Institute for Urban indigenous Health (IUIH) in South-East Queensland has been developing its health workforce over the past 7 years which has been integrally linked to growth and reform in comprehensive primary healthcare within the Indigenous community-controlled health sector.

IUIH’s workforce development program aims to:

• Increase the number of Indigenous students entering into careers in health
• Develop pathways for Indigenous students from disadvantaged contexts from high school to university and employment
• Develop inter-professional student and graduate opportunities
• Growing our own workforce through coaching

IUIH’s workforce initiatives have resulted in growth from 1 allied health professional employed in 2010 to over 83 in 2018 and 30 students/year placed in 2010 to 386 students/year placed in 2017. IUIH’s school- and work-based training programs in allied health, Individual support and primary health care targets young people and community members with significant barriers to academic success. To date 16 school-based trainees and 15 work-based trainees have completed their study. Of these, 90% have continued to employment. From these traineeship graduates, 71% have continued through to university studies. In addition to these students, several TAFE qualified staff have commenced university studies while maintaining employment with IUIH. 2018 will see IUIH recruit a further 15 fulltime trainees and 50 individuals to complete Vocational Education and Training.

Several key learnings from this work will be presented including the importance of cultural mentors, pastoral care, relationships and partnerships between RTOs, training providers, schools and employers, and graduate support, as well as key leadership from Indigenous allied health professionals and management.
IUIH has developed a workforce pipeline model to reflect this.


Cassie Daniel is a human services graduate with experience in family support, traineeship coordination and Education Program Development. Cassie started out as a student with The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and co-authored the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Education Program. Cassie’s role within the IUIH has continued to grow with the needs of the organisation, and today she heads up the Youth arm of the Organisational Development Team.

For more information on the 2018 National Employment Solutions Conference and to secure your spot, please visit