Picture: Students enjoying field work during the Certificate III in Aboriginal - Site Works training.
A group of Aboriginal students from the Shoalhaven will be set for new careers following their graduation from an Aboriginal – Site Works training program at TAFE NSW Illawarra’s Nowra campus on 23 August.
Developed in partnership with the RMS, the training qualifies the graduates in inspecting, documenting and maintaining Aboriginal cultural and heritage sites.
“The Certificate III in Aboriginal - Site Works was designed to increase the skills of participants in the area of Aboriginal Site Assessment,” says Bess Moylan, TAFE Illawarra Teacher.
“The students really engaged with the course as a result of its structure and the community involvement in developing the course content.
“The training is a real success, with the program achieving a 73% completion rate.
“We now have 16 local Aboriginal students graduating from the course – with many of them already gaining employment with the Aboriginal Land Councils in site assessment work, or going on to further study.”
Iriaka Ross, TAFE Illawarra’s Aboriginal Coordinator, says what made the course so engaging was the relevant focus on the connection to the land and the support provided to students.
“We had Aboriginal teachers who were approved by the Nowra Local Aboriginal Land Council, industry guest speakers presented at lessons and the students had the chance to do site visits in their local area – which were places they had a real connection with.
“Our team of Aboriginal Education Officers also guided the students throughout their learning journey, providing support not only for their study, but for their health and wellbeing,” says Iriaka.