More than 3000 Indigenous people have either gained employment or participated in training courses and other learning activities over a 12-month period thanks to Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) programs and projects.
The employment and training figures have been celebrated by the ILSC and have been equally welcomed by Jawan Madden, first year Station Hand at Roebuck Plains Station.
As 2022 draws to a close, Jawan is finishing his first year at Roebuck Plains Station after completing the Nyamba Buru Yawuru’s (NBY) Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work) Agriculture Pre-Employment program.
Roebuck Plains Station – located at Gumaranganyjal – covers more than 276,000 hectares.
The station currently employs 12 Indigenous people and its first year Station Hand, Jawan Madden, says these are the types of statistics that the Indigenous community can celebrate together.
“It’s good to hear there are more people getting work on Country and working on their land,” praised Mr Madden.
“I have a few cousins that I work with on the station. There is a sense of feeling of the family around the station which is good because you don’t get home sick.
“Working with my cousins gives me a bit of motivation – the boys keep you on your toes.”
Jawan has quickly developed an admirable work ethic thanks to his pre-employment program and his first year on the station.
“It’s good working on the station – it’s very hard work,” continued Mr Madden.
“We wake up around 5am. You get yourself ready, have a shower, chuck the boots on, have some breakfast – and then we take off from the homestead around 5.30am or 6am.
“I love it. I really enjoy riding the horse because it keeps my mind off stuff.”
Jawan has faced his own challenges in 2022 – fracturing his spine in three different places, but that won’t keep him off the horse.
“I went for my first ride in four months around three or four weeks ago and it was an 8-hour ride on the first day back,’ stated Mr Madden.
Following a successful 2022 on the station, Jawan has his sights firmly focused on 2023 with a number of aspirations for himself.
“My work on the station has created opportunities and opened lots of doors,” said Mr Madden.
“People are offering me jobs in town. I was referred to an Aboriginal mentoring role which I might take up next year.
“If not, I will go back to the station because I was offered a second year.”
With options on the table, Jawan will be using the wet season to think about the next steps in his career while he uses the valuable time doing what he loves most – going out bush with his family.
“I like going bush with my family, you know, hunting, spearing, fishing – making spears. It’s the best fishing out this way.”
ILSC Group Chief Executive Officer, Joe Morrison, said Jawan’s story was living proof of the significance and successes of handing Country back to Indigenous people to own and manage.
“Jawan’s story is profoundly inspiring and highlights the ILSC’s fundamental focus of returning Country to Indigenous people so they can realise the social, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits of owning and managing Country,” said Mr Morrison.
“These benefits include job creation opportunities for Indigenous people and I’m delighted that the ILSC has directly delivered or enabled employment for so many Indigenous people this year.”
Mr Morrison also stressed the importance of education and preparation for the workforce through training programs for Indigenous people.
“We know that education can provide a range of benefits to an individual and their community, and that’s why we’re pleased to have hosted close to 200 trainees across the ILSC Group over a 12-month period,” continued Mr Morrison.
“We were also pleased to hear that almost 1100 training courses were completed by Indigenous people through the ILSC’s project work.
“It’s great to finish the year knowing that so many Indigenous people have used 2022 as the year to learn new skills and further their careers on Country.”
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Sean Turtur, Strategic Communications Manager
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