Tailored work training leads to Aboriginal employment

OPPORTUNITY: Graduates celebrated their course completion with members from Kokatha, Australian Camp Services and TAFE SA's Aboriginal Access Centre.
OPPORTUNITY: Graduates celebrated their course completion with members from Kokatha, Australian Camp Services and TAFE SA's Aboriginal Access Centre.

Career opportunities for Aboriginal employment at Carrapateena Mine have been accelerated through a newly developed training program.

Partnering with Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation (KAC) and Australian Camp Services (ACS), TAFE SA’s Aboriginal Access Centre has a new set of graduates qualified for a range of positions in one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits.

The students undertook an eight week program which combined specialised hospitality skill sets in kitchen and housekeeping with basic job skills practice, learning how to manage finances and First Aid.

Tre Morgan, like all participants, was recruited through Job Services Australia.

“Learning is always better than doing nothing. It’s good to just get a career, a future and get set up,” he said upon receiving his certificate of completion.

“I’ve always wanted to be around the mines, or anything to do with mining – it’s always been my goal and now I’m so close.”

TAFE SA Aboriginal Access Centre Director, Marg Mibus, said all of the students had shown great commitment to the program.

“I am pleased to be able to work with KAC and ACS to deliver training that will provide employment opportunities for Aboriginal people,” Ms Mibus said. “It has been a worthwhile journey that will see many go onto jobs in the mine.”

On hand to present certificates to the graduates was Kokatha Corporation Chairperson Chris Larkin.

As traditional landowners of the mine site, Mr Larkin said it was important for Kokatha to be involved developing a pathway for employment opportunities at Carrapateena. 

“This is about building a pipeline for people to have multi level entry points and a range of different skills because we aim to be running those camp services for the life of that mine,” he said.

“They will be the best role models and they will be snapped up. As that place is growing, these guys will get the first preference for the roles that come up.

“It’s about building people who care about where they’re going and showing leadership.”