First Nations Career Mentoring Circle

The Perth USAsia Centre facilitates an informal yarning circle tailored for First Nations students and recent graduates aspiring to a career in international relations.

Established in 2024, the Career Mentoring Circle is hosted by the Centre’s First Nations Foreign Policy Fellow Sarah Leary, a proud Palawa woman and experienced former diplomat of 14 years.

Sarah is available to support First Nations university students and graduates based in Western Australia to learn about careers in international relations. She helps students and graduates to set and work towards their personal goals, and to prepare applications for Commonwealth graduate programs.

To join the Career Mentoring Circle, click the link below and complete the application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

    Am I eligible?

    Applicants are required to submit an application form, including a 100-word statement, addressing the following selection criteria.

    To be eligible, applicants must:

    • Identify as a First Nations university student or graduate
    • Be enrolled in tertiary study (second-year or above), or be a recent graduate
    • Be based in Western Australia in 2024
    • Be available to attend mentoring meetings
    • Have an interest in career opportunities in international relations
    • Commit to setting goals and topics of focus for discussion.

    What is a yarning circle?

    Yarning circles are gatherings among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who meet to share their experiences, knowledge and stories.

    Why did the Centre establish a Career Mentoring Circle?

    The Australian Government has established an Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda to elevate indigenous issues and perspectives into Australia’s international outreach. There has never been a better time for First Nations university students in Western Australia to consider international careers across diverse fields such as diplomacy, international security, trade, business, international development, climate change, gender equality, cyber and sport.

    The Perth USAsia Centre is committed to building the capacity of First Nations students and graduates, and to helping students prepare for employment opportunities across the Indo-Pacific.

    When and where is the circle held?

    The Career Mentoring Circle will be held in line with participants’ availability.

    What is the time commitment?

    Meetings are generally held once a month and run for approximately one hour in duration.

    Can my career mentor review my job application?

    The career mentor cannot evaluate students’ graduate program or job applications. However, they can provide general advice and guidance to the best of their ability.

    Further enquiries

    For further enquiries, please email

    “First Nations peoples have been practicing trade and diplomacy – at land and sea – in Western Australia for millennia. As a newly welcomed arrival on Whadjuk Noongar country, I am blown away by the warmth, resilience and connectedness of Western Australia’s First Nations people and their affinity with the Indo-Pacific”.

    Sarah Leary
    First Nations Foreign Policy Fellow

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