PBCs of all sizes require people to work in the various roles and functions of the corporation. Depending on the size and income of the PBC their work can be unpaid or paid as a member of staff.

Recruiting, managing and retaining staff

Recruiting staff can be challenging and expensive depending on how remote the PBC is located and the level of skills and experience required. ORIC Recruitment Assistance Corporation (ORA) provides assistance and guidance for senior staff appointments. Their services include developing a job description, advertising a position, vetting applicants, conducting interviews and preparing the selection report. Employment contracts can differ across the jurisdictions and ORIC provides contract templates.

Professional development for staff, members and directors to grow individual, team and organisational capability and performance is important in any corporation. The Indigenous Governance Toolkit provides some tips for staff development and the PBC website provides training opportunities for capacity development. 

New staff members are best prepared for their new role with an induction process. The staff induction checklist explains what this process can contain. This checklist can be modified according to your needs. The Institute of Community Directors has also published a staff induction policy.

Cultural competency

PBCs may have a mixture of Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff. Cultural competence is required for new and established staff members for their work in an inter-cultural environment. Cultural competence is understood as the ability to participate ethically and effectively in personal and professional inter-cultural settings and include:

  • being aware of one’s own world view

  • developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences

  • gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views

  • developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures.

AIATSIS and the Centre for Cultural Competence Australia provide foundational online courses in cultural competency. These should not replace face to face and in community training. Larger PBCs might want to develop their own cultural competency training with their community members.

Further resources