Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Graduates set up to fire up careers

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

A THIRD class of Indigenous students has graduated from a training program to help Indigenous people apply to become firefighters.

In the latest ceremony, 22 students graduated with a Certificate IV in Fitness, as well as basic firefighting and job application

Under the course, run by TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (TAFE SWSi) and Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW), participants attended classes at TAFE SWSi Macquarie Fields College, local fire stations and the FRNSW State Training College at Alexandria.

They were also mentored by Aboriginal firefighters. Speaking at the graduation ceremony, FRNSW acting deputy commissioner Mal Connellan said the course was part of the FRNSW Indigenous employment strategy.

“Being a firefighter is the best job in the world,” he said.

“Thousands of people apply to be firefighters every year and, rightly, it’s not easy to get in, but it’s important the fire service represents the community it serves.

“The information and experience these graduates have gained will help them with the application process.

“Completing the course doesn’t guarantee a position, but it has given graduates a unique insight into the job and the process.”

Institute director Peter Roberts said TAFE SWSi was proud to be playing a leading role in giving Aboriginal people the opportunity to become a firefighter.

“We believe that everybody in our community should have the opportunity to gain the skills and training they need to reach their career goals,” he said.

“Our partnership with FRNSW is helping to give Aboriginal people who want a career in the fire and rescue services the best opportunity to achieve that ambition. 

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Woorabinda youth looking to the future

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THEY’VE been under a bit of pressure in recent times, but this year’s Year 12 graduates from the Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in central Queensland are looking forward to bright futures.

Raymond Rankin is keen to attend the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts in Brisbane.

“I did find finishing hard; it was a bit of a struggle because I have a Certificate III as well as my senior,” he said.

Jobe Adams, who already has some production work under his belt, said he was the first person in his family to finish Year 12. “It was challenging, but I ended up doing it,” he said.

Ardin O’Chin said he was hoping for carpentry work with the local council, but was instead offered a job as an apprentice electrician.
“They’ll give me a lot of support,” he said.

Stanley Huskic is looking forward to being a nurse for his own people in Woorabinda.

“I’m having a gap year here in Woorie while I do my assistant nursing studies, with my practical here at the hospital,” he said.

“After this year I’m going to do more study and look at applying to go to university.”

Red Cross Futures coordinator Stephen Collins said all of the graduates were keen to keep setting and kicking goals.

“None of them wants to come back and just sit around. All of them want to keep going and doing something, which is awesome,” he said.

“And they’re setting an expectation, not just for younger brothers and sisters, but also the whole of community; and they’re not just choosing to peak, they’re setting another goal.”
Woorabinda's 2016 Year 12 graduates from left: Jordan Young, Raymond Rankin, Jobe Adams, Ardin O'Chin, Miiesha Young, Stanley Huskic, Stewart Smith and Stephen Collins. Absent: Terry Sullivan and Keanu Doyle

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Transformation for communities

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

AFTER delving into his family history and discovering his great-grandmother was Wiradjuri, UTS academic Allan Teale set the wheels in motion
for a revitalisation project in central-western NSW.

UTS Design academics and students visited the communities of Lake Cargelligo and Murrin Bridge, hoping to transform neglected building and public spaces.

“It couldn’t have happened without interior and spatial design lecturer Campbell Drake,” Mr Teale told the Koori Mail.

“He’s a man that puts the community above himself every time. He’s the one who took the students out there and it wouldn’t have happened without him.

“He’s a down-to-earth guy. He and the students did a pop-up presentation to the community of their ideas. They really did a great job.”

Mr Teale travelled to the communities with 35 UTS students to introduce them to the locals, then students worked with residents on design proposals.

“I go out there every couple of months,” he said.

“I feel better as soon as I get out of Sydney. I feel better as soon as I get over those mountains. It feels like home.

“I’ve been connecting with the community there. I’m welcomed once I’ve made that connection. I’ve spent three years going out there and trying to get things happening.”

In Lake Cargelligo, students have been working to convert the art deco Civic theatre into an arts and culture space, renew the 100-seat cinema, and reinvigorate the foreshore community club into the town’s new events venue.

The brief for Murrin Bridge includes retrofitting the existing health centre into a multi-purpose community centre, beautifying the town’s cemetery and upgrading the sports ground.

Mr Teale said the experience was beneficial not only to the communities but also to students, some of whom were on exchange from all over the world.

“The community rubbed off on them and they’re just as excited as me to see these plans come to fruition,” he said.

Thanks for caring
“I had someone at the local IGA come up to me and say, ‘Thanks for caring for our community.’

“Feedback like that is important because it’s good to know people are happy. That means a lot to me, and to the students.”

Mr Teale said although the project was his brainchild, executing it was a group effort.

“Not only did I have the support of Campbell Drake but we had the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on board, especially Paul McFayden,” he said.

“And of course none of it would have been possible without the Jumbunna unit at UTS and all the staff there.

“It was like cogs. Without one person’s support it wouldn’t have happened.

“I’m proud to have been part of it.”

UTS students and local Elders in Murrin Bridge

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


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