JobTrail partners with Queensland State Government and Mackay community to launch Indigenous career preparation program

BY: Tracey Mesken26/02/2016

​Job Trail, Indigenous workforce specialist and member of the WorkPac Group, is joining forces with Traditional Owners, Indigenous and local businesses and State Government departments to launch the Let’s Walk Together career preparation program for Indigenous school leavers.An information session on the Let’s Walk Together program, held in South Mackay last Thursday, encouraged school leavers to sign-up for the program before its official launch in March.Bowen Basin Services and JobTrail will lead the Let’s Walk Together program, providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school-leavers with educational training and cultural support to help identify and map their preferred career pathway. Julian Genn, JobTrail Regional Manager, says the program will grow a talented Indigenous workforce in the Mackay region.“Ultimately we aim to improve Indigenous life outcomes and we are optimistic about a fairer, more inclusive future with proper recognition of the past. This lasting change starts at a local level with education and employment,” Mr Genn said.“Let’s Walk Together is designed to address educational needs in a holistic way, incorporating cultural considerations”.“The Traditional Owners will be involved in the project and genuine partnerships we’ve formed in the region will drive community engagement, enabling us to deliver program outcomes aligned with Indigenous employment targets”.Melisha Johnson was enthusiastic about joining the program and signed up at the information session on Thursday.“The program is an excellent way to help year 13 Indigenous students like myself to get back into study or into the workforce,” Ms Johnson said.“We will be working in close links with JobTrail and Bowen Basin Services, which I think will help us get an understanding of how each organisation can help”.“Let’s Walk Together helps get year 13 kids up and out of bed and into some sort of study or work. I’m sure after the program everyone who participated will appreciate the hard work of each and every person who has made the program possible for us”.Alkira Compass, a 100% owned and operated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business, is contributing key strategies and processes throughout the journey.Mareshah Bowie, Alkira Compass representative, says Let’s Walk Together is about empowering Indigenous school-leavers to understand their connections to identity and community so they can take hold of their own future.“This program offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school-leavers the opportunity to make better-informed decisions about their future pathways with the support of their cultural community connections,” Ms Bowie said.Representatives from the Queensland Government’s Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) strongly endorsed the program.Peter Buckland, Director for the DATSIP Mackay Service Centre spoke about empowering a capable and productive Indigenous workforce with enhanced accountability and offered ongoing support and mentorship to the program participants.'Bruce Williams, Professional Facilitator at Aus IDentities, will work with the students to build self-directed strategies around workplace resilience, communication and self-worth while overcoming negative thinking patterns and focusing on identity construction.Gold Training will also provide training resources to encourage participants to enter an industry of their choice.Schools Pathways Manager at Gold Training, Celeste Grice focused on the importance of learning and will facilitate nationally recognised training relevant to the career goals of each school leaver.If you would like more information on the Let’s Walk Together program or would like to get involved, please contact:Abi Ah Wong, Program Coordinator, Bowen Basin 07 4951 3462Julian Genn, Regional Manager, 07 32512276