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Holly Bennett
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The University of Melbourne has welcomed 18 new staff members at today’s launch of the 2018 Melbourne Indigenous Professional Employment Program (MIPEP). 

Established in 2013, MIPEP is a two-year, entry-level program providing meaningful work and on-the-job skills development, formal qualification, enrichment activities, professional development and dedicated pastoral support.

Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, Associate Director Charles O’Leary said MIPEP is an employment initiative that directly responds to the needs of the Indigenous Australian community.

“We started this program five years ago as part of the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage and enable meaningful employment opportunities that foster skill development and broad work experience,” said Mr O’Leary.

“Indigenous employees bring with them a wealth of experience, expertise, knowledge and skills that inform, enrich and fundamentally improve the work that the University does.”

Since the program has started, the intake has doubled from nine participants in the first year to 18 in 2018, with 27 previous participants still employed at the University.  

As part of the two-year program, participants gain experience working in two different roles, increasing their employability, and also attain a Diploma of Leadership and Management in their first year. They are supported by a buddy and mentor, and participate in a number of enrichment and professional development activities.

Minnie Atkinson, participated the program in 2013 and now is employed as an Admissions Assistant in the Melbourne School of Engineering.

“I have gained a lot from being part of the program and had the opportunity to professionally develop across different roles at the University over the past five years,” said Ms Atkinson. “This has helped with my knowledge of the University and confidence in the workplace.”

2018 participant Bradley Anderson hopes his experience is just as rewarding.

“I am looking forward to the professional and educational development, and experiencing this journey as part of a cohort,” Mr Anderson said.