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Our Structure

Our people – management and structure

Aboriginal Affairs is lead by General Manager Jason Ardler who is responsible to the Secretary of the Department of Education and Communities for the management of all resources, programs and performance of the agency.

There are four Directorates in Aboriginal Affairs, each lead by a Director.

The Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act is an independent statutory appointment. The Registrar receives support from the Office of the Registrar Aboriginal Land Rights Act whose staff are Aboriginal Affairs employees.

View Aboriginal Affairs’ management structure

Key Functions

Policy and Reform Directorate

Aboriginal Affairs policy strength is its connection with communities, allowing the agency to develop policy responses that are informed by local issues and Aboriginal community aspirations and attitudes.

The Policy & Reform Directorate works collaboratively with other sectors and jurisdictions and, provides leadership across government to identify barriers to, and opportunities for, improving outcomes for Aboriginal communities, consistent with NSW Government objectives under NSW 2012 and OCHRE; the NSW Aboriginal affairs plan.

The Directorate leads whole-of-government and inter-government negotiations to ensure alignment, integration and coordination of policies, reforms and approaches, to achieve the strategic intent of OCHRE, supporting the agency’s participation in a range of executive and high level decision-making and policy setting forums.

Community and Economic Development Directorate

The Community & Economic Development Directorate leads the development and implementation of whole-of-government policy and operating frameworks to support the goals and aspirations of Aboriginal people, and the successful delivery of key programs for which Aboriginal Affairs has carriage, including the OCHRE Local Decision Making initiative and a specialised Family Records service to Aboriginal people.

The Directorate negotiates agreements with other agencies, non-government organisations, key industry groups and Aboriginal community leaders to ensure a coordinated approach to addressing complex issues, improving services and creating employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal people

Regional Coordination Directorate

The Regional Coordination Directorate leads the delivery of regionally based activities directly to Aboriginal communities across NSW.

With Regional Officers in Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Bateman’s Bay, and smaller sub regional officers in Bourke, Broken Hill, Newcastle and Tamworth, staff work collaboratively across Government/s and with employers, non-government organisations and Aboriginal governance bodies to drive systemic improvements in service delivery, employment outcomes and leadership capability at the regional and local level.

A key activity for regional based staff is to provide support for Aboriginal community leadership and governance; and brokering training, support and mentoring services to enhance capacity in Aboriginal communities to manage their own affairs.

An evolving role for Aboriginal Affairs at a regional and local level is in the area of economic development where regional staff will support communities to develop structures and capacity to participate in regional economies and facilitate employment, procurement and training partnerships between Aboriginal communities and employers.

Regional staff also;

Strategy and Coordination Directorate

The Strategy & Coordination Directorate consists of 3 units: Business & Executives Support; Planning and Coordination, and Research & Evaluation. The Directorate includes organisational business support services such as office management, ICT, planning and reporting, finance, human resource management, communication, performance reporting, and research and evaluation.

The Directorate is responsible for

Where are we located

The Head Office of Aboriginal Affairs is located in Bridge Street, Sydney (Department of Education building). Regional Offices are located in Bateman’s Bay, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Sydney, with smaller sub regional officers in Bourke, Broken Hill, Newcastle and Tamworth.

The Office of the Registrar, Aboriginal Land Rights Act is located in Glebe.

Key Contacts

Click here to go to our detailed contact list.

CODE OF CONDUCT AND DIGNITY & RESPECT CHARTER The Code of Conduct is a practical document that helps staff resolve ethical dilemmas that might confront them in their employment with AANSW. The Agency’s Code of Conduct offers guidance regarding its expectations of its staff in relation to ethical conduct. All permanent and temporary employees and contractors are required to act in the spirit of the Code. In addition, AA has committed to a Dignity and Respect in the workplace Charter. AA is committed to building a capable and responsive workforce that is representative of the community we serve. This means creating an environment where the diversity of all of those who work for us and those to whom we provide a service is respected. All employees have a right to work in an environment that is free from all forms of bullying. Every employee has the right to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their background, beliefs or culture, and to work to their highest potential.


AA has developed an Aboriginal Employment Plan. This Plan maps the actions and initiatives AA will use to achieve this vision and targets of:

Aboriginal staff currently represent 54% of staff. Reflecting this in real terms against our current workforce, to achieve our targets requires the recruitment of 13 Aboriginal people across the agency and two Aboriginal women specifically, into executive positions over the next two years.