The first participants in a pioneering Aboriginal Pastoral Academy are nearing the completion of their intensive training program.
The training program was coordinated by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and delivered by Queensland’s VET Centre, the Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation and the Kimberley Agricultural and Pastoral Company.
The program was developed in response to industry requests to provide a supported career path for young Aboriginal people and a skilled, entry-level cohort to add to the pastoral industry workforce.
The seven young men spent two weeks working on Myroodah station developing practical skills with cattle and horses, while also learning the foundational skills required to develop the knowledge and confidence to be ‘job ready’ to work the pastoral industry.
DPIRD Aboriginal economic development manager Melissa Hartmann said the program was developed and delivered hand-in-hand with industry and community.
“The Aboriginal Pastoral Academy pilot has laid the foundations from which to build employment pathways, which will generate far reaching benefits to the pastoral industry, as well as local communities in the north,” she said.
“The graduates learned practical skills like fencing, water point maintenance, animal handling and welfare, as well as language, literacy and numeracy training.
“The Academy has had great industry support, including offers of employment and offers to host future training opportunities.”
Four course participants have accepted job offers, while two have chosen to complete their secondary schooling.
All participants have indicated a willingness and commitment to complete additional training, as it becomes available.
The participants furthered their skills this week by undertaking a Low Stress Stockhandling course, together with the Nyamba Buru Yawuru people’s Warrmijala Murrgulayi pre-employment program.
“Joining with the Warrmijala Murrgurlayi program to deliver the Low Stress Stockhandling course has been a great opportunity, which is underpinned by the Yawuru’s wellbeing philosophy, known as mabu liyan,” Ms Hartmann said.
The Aboriginal Pastoral Academy pilot will now be developed into a broader program by DPIRD in consultation with industry.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
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