Perseverance, dedication, and resilience – these are just some of the qualities embodied by the recent participants of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation’s (ILSC) Real Jobs Program (RJP).
For the past 16 years, the RJP has been a gateway to a vast range of opportunities for First Nations peoples in the Northern Territory (NT), providing valuable skills in agribusiness, tourism, and Country conservation.
The RJP also supports cultural, economic, and environmental benefits, assisting previously unemployed Indigenous people by delivering genuine opportunities to make a difference in the workforce.
Over a 12-month period, almost 250 Indigenous people were employed as part of the program.
Kenisha Winunguj, a young Indigenous woman and one of the many RJP participants, recently began working as a Miyalk Ranger for Yirralka Miyalk, a social enterprise supported by the RJP.
Yirralka Miyalk, which is managed by the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, is a bush product program which began in 2011.
The program supports female (Miyalk) rangers to practice Yolŋu healing methods, using local native flora in a variety of personal care products, such as bush scrubs, soaps and oils.
“I started working at Yirralka Miyalks early this year because I wanted to learn more about Yolŋu medicine and to help treat people with it,” said Ms Winunguj.
“(This work) is my passion and is something I really wanted to do after graduating back in 2020.”
The social enterprise supports the Yolŋu Rangers to live and work from their homelands, while maintaining their strong connection to their culture through Yolŋu healing.
ILSC Group Chief Executive Officer, Joe Morrison, said the training and workforce opportunities offered as part of the RJP are vast and attributed the opportunities to the RJP program’s successes over the past 16 years.
“Kenisha’s journey is inspiring. It’s stories like these which drive the ILSC to support First Nations peoples on their journey towards self-determination,” said Mr Morrison.
“I congratulate Kenisha, and all other participants who worked hard to take part in the Real Jobs Program and strengthen their personal and professional capabilities”.
The ILSC will continue to run the successful RJP into the 2023-24 financial year, which will only continue to positively impact many more First Nations peoples within the NT.