Passivity When the old people of Cape York gathered
around the dysfunction spreading across
in the early 1990s, inspiring the Cape York
their communities. They understood that
Agenda, they declared passive welfare as a
without meaningful work, there could
scourge ripping apart their communities.
never be meaningful and sustainable
They saw it tearing away at the hope of the
young people. They could not stand by
Ever realistic and practical, the old people
and watch their people retreat to the evils of
understood that the road ahead would
addiction in response to the despair of passivity.
be difficult and require a multi-pronged
With that thinking, they knew that a job was the best way to provide hope and turn
Reform Across Cape York Partnership, the creation of jobs is a fundamental priority. We are building demand for workers by vigorously supporting new and existing Indigenous businesses, in the knowledge that they will be much more likely to employ Indigenous people. We are working hard to develop Indigenous lead industries, such as in soft commodities, knowing that a â€˜real worldâ€™ economy and industry base will deliver the ongoing reforms we seek. Our education agenda is nurturing the next generations of job-ready employees to fill the demand built by our employment and industry development agenda.
As the Community Development Programme (CDP) provider for Aurukun and Coen since September 2013, our guiding light remains the Cape York Agenda. We approach our challenge with a strong strategic vision that deeply understands that we will only achieve our goals for the people of Cape York through an approach that comes at the challenge from multiple and connected angles.
Building Relationships with Employers Only through understanding what employers need in their staff, what skills they require, what behavioural expectations they will demand, are we able to work with jobseekers to prepare them for employment. Through engaging with employers, we develop employment strategies that are realistic and aim for the highest aspirations for the jobseekers, employers, and the community. In this, our role is as a bridge between the communities we serve and the employers that rely on skilled, stable, and enthusiastic employees.
Supporting Jobseekers Many of our jobseekers are overcoming years of passive welfare, addictions, and other personal challenges. We work with individuals and support them to access supports, such as through the Opportunity Products available at our O-Hubs, to build life skills that will help them prepare for employment. Another important role we play is in assisting jobseekers to attain important licences and qualification required for employment, such as driversâ€™ licences, trade tickets, and others. Of course, a key component of our support is ensuring that our jobseekers understand the types of roles that are available, or likely to become available, and working with them to develop a personalised plan to build the skills and job-readiness that will give them the best chance of securing a job.
Building A Workforce Years of passivity can have a corrosive effect on an individual. It can create bad habits, sap self-confidence and rob a person of their self-esteem. Within the CDP framework, we develop meaningful activities that help jobseekers form new routines and habits and teach them new skills. The activities, typically covering 25 hours per week, help jobseekers build up their self-esteem and confidence, preparing them for the routines and discipline required for employment. Importantly, many of the activities are designed to benefit the communities. This approach ensures that the activities are relevant to our jobseekers and build pride in their achievements.
Linking Jobseekers With Opportunities Our communities remain economically depressed and there is less job opportunities than there are willing jobseekers. Adding to this, many job opportunities are filled by non-locals, reducing further the opportunities available to community members. That is why we are focussed on ensuring that our jobseekers can compete for the limited job opportunities. We work closely with employers to ensure that we are aware of the opportunities and work with suitable jobseekers to ensure that they have the best chance of securing the roles. ORBIT OPPORTUNITIES As there are not enough jobs in the communities, we work with suitable jobseekers to secure opportunities outside of the communities. These provide our jobseekers with valuable experience and skills to improve their job-readiness and increase the likelihood of securing a role within their community.
Example Activities CREATIVE BUSINESS
As part of the Busy Hands activity, Megan Bayliss, CEO of Junk Wave, worked with ladies to make beautiful hand bags and bracelets out of recycled materials. While the activity was a lot of fun, it also carried a serious message about recycling through craft to preserve the environment and protect our oceans and marine life. Megan also talked about empowering individuals to establish a recycled craft business.
As part of the Better Gardens activity, jobseekers are engaged in maintaining public spaces and establishing community market gardens. The skills the jobseekers are learning are directly relevant to a range of roles with Local Councils and other employers. Importantly, the activities result in community amenity, such as the recently completed project to beautify the popular Aurukun Landing, providing additional seating and clearing the area of rubbish and debris.
Success stories SKILLS AND WORK-READINESS
Having a driverâ€™s license is extremely important for building work-readiness. We conduct regular community licensing days in Aurukun. We assist jobseekers to complete forms and provided a vehicle and practice driving sessions for the practical tests.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE, WELLBEING AND CREATING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Cape York Employment, in partnership with Boxing Queensland, kicked off an exciting boxing program in Aurukun in 2016. The program provides an excellent opportunity for Indigenous youth to exercise and build their confidence, discipline and overall wellbeing, while also creating job opportunities for CYEâ€™s jobseekers. Jobseekers are now being trained to take the program forward.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND LEARNING WITH FRIENDS
Coen jobseeker, Katarna Creek, recently spent a week participating in a Youth Summit. The Summit aims to engage young people from across Cape York. Participants take part in a variety of different activities including sports, art, self-esteem building and leadership exercises.
Gaining employment CYE Jobseeker, Patrick Bell, has moved into employment with the Aurukun Shire Council. In his new role as Groundsman, he feels he can make a real difference in his community. So much so that Patrick is often found cleaning up around the Council building well before his work day begins. His work ethic has turned heads; we expect that Patrick will enjoy a long career with the Council.
David Wilson is proud to secure his new job as a Storeman at the Aurukun Supermarket. The Island and Cape Store’s Manager, Aaron Blyton, was on hand to congratulate David and welcome him to the team. David is loving the job and sees himself as a role model for other young men in the community.
As a Kaantju/Ayapathu Traditional Owner and Elder, Patricia Claremount deeply values the opportunity to work on country and share stories with others as a new Cultural Heritage Officer with Kalan Enterprises. Patricia loves working for Kalan because they “…employ locals and Traditional Owners who still live and rely on the land.”
Nicholas Bell has begun work with Aurukun School as a Youth Engagement Officer. He will be working alongside his mentor, Bob Brady, who is a teacher at the School, to reach out to 12- and 13-year-olds to help them re-engage with their education. While that alone makes the job very worthwhile for Nicholas, he is also very happy to no longer be reliant on welfare.
jobseekers placed so far
remained in their jobs 13 weeks later
have remained in their jobs for over 26 weeks
302-310 Sheridan Street, Cairns QLD 4870 P (07) 4042 7200 | F (07) 4042 7291 E firstname.lastname@example.org capeyorkpartnership.org.au
An initiative of Cape York Partnership