The Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) is a national Indigenous managed, not-for-profit employment organisation that provides training, mentorship, and guidance to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to secure long-term careers. The AES began in Moree NSW in 1997, and was founded by cotton farmer Dick Estens AO to address the chronic social divisions that characterised the town. Through the work of the AES, significant positive changes were made in the Moree community. From this success, the AES has grown to become a national organisation with 15 local offices across NSW, QLD, VIC, NT and WA. The AES has had many noteworthy achievements since beginning its operations in 1997: supporting 10,000 Indigenous career seekers in securing long-term, successful careers; achieving 1,870 career placements in 2011-12, 13% of the national total; leveraging a network of more than 40 corporate partners across 14 industries; pioneering the school-based traineeship model; and connecting students to guaranteed career pathways.
– Gavin Lester
Founder of Boomerang Constructions, Gavin Lester is passionate about the importance of promoting health, education and employment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He established Boomerang Constructions as an Aboriginal owned and run building company with over 22 years building experience and employing a 90% Aboriginal workforce. He employs and mentors Aboriginal apprentices through their carpentry training and, over the years, has helped many young Koori kids succeed in establishing rewarding careers. Boomerang Construction provides building services to Government, industry and private sector clients and endeavours to give back to local communities through employment opportunities and mentoring. Boomerang Constructions is currently working on various projects throughout NSW.
The SWSLHD Aboriginal Traineeship Program
The South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Aboriginal Traineeship Program is making a significant contribution to the long term capacity of Aboriginal people and families in South-West Sydney through its successful employment and retention of Aboriginal people. Under the program, 80 Aboriginal people have been recruited, with 37 currently in the recruitment process, into entry level positions in career pathways such as dental assisting, physiotherapy, technical officers, hospitality, asset maintenance, security, transport and logistics, and administration. The traineeship program boasts an impressive 97% retention rate, which includes successful completion of one and two year traineeships and transition to permanent positions. The program is delivered through a partnership with Yarn’n Aboriginal Employment Services.
Warrigal Employment is an arm of the Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation and is an Indigenous owned and operated Aboriginal Employment and Training specialist aiming to secure the ongoing employment of Aboriginal people. The organisation is dedicated to achieving excellence in providing advocacy and culturally appropriate services to meet the social, cultural and economic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Illawarra Region. Warrigal Employment provides assistance to both the job seeker and the employer through an experienced team who are committed to successful job placement and ensuring businesses receive the right staff for the job. They offer individualised pre-employment training which is industry specific; access to any additional training that may be needed; post employment support and mentoring to employee and employer; work experience placements; and cultural awareness training. Warrigal has close ties with the local community in which it operates and runs a number of successful projects including the Murra Project, a school-based traineeship with NSW Emergency Services including Police, Ambulance and SES. It runs for two years during years 11 & 12 and is credited as part of the HSC.
Ronnie Bosuen comes from Napranum, a remote community of just under 1,000 people on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. He established Indigenous Pathways Solutions (IPS) in 2009, which specialises in providing services to the mining, construction and civil industries. It sources work-ready, skilled Indigenous staff through IPS training programs. Programs are tailored to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to obtain long-term employment across the resource sector and mining industries. Ronnie began his career at the young age of 18 years with Comalco Aluminum (now Rio Tinto Aluminum), based in Weipa, as a machine operator. His career went from strength to strength and he turned his talents to setting up employment programs and opportunities for Indigenous people in the Weipa/Napranum and Gladstone regions. He then went on to work as a Mine Training Co-ordinator with Rio Tinto Pilbara Iron Ore, and was active in setting up work training opportunities for the Indigenous people of the Pilbara region.