Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Twenty-nine Aboriginal trainees graduate in Sydney

Joint Media Release with:

  • Matt Thistlewaite, Senator for New South Wales

Twenty-nine Aboriginal students have new industry-specific skills and job opportunities, following their graduation from school based traineeships at a ceremony in Sydney today.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Julie Collins, and Senator for New South Wales, Matt Thistlethwaite, welcomed the graduation of students from the Aboriginal Employment Strategy’s (AES) School Based and Full Time Trainees 2009-12 Indigenous Employment Program.

“The Gillard Government invested $700,000 in the program, which had 199 School Based Trainees across New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria,” Ms Collins said.

“These twenty nine students graduating in Sydney today are part of a group of 140 Indigenous trainees graduating from the AES’ program across Australia.

“Graduates had a unique opportunity to be hosted at large businesses such as Telstra, Australia Post, the big four banks and Qantas.

“Programs like this one are a practical example of how partnerships between government, Indigenous Australians, schools and corporate Australia can reduce Indigenous disadvantage and close the gap in educational, employment and life outcomes.”

Senator Thistlethwaite attended the graduation ceremony to personally congratulate the trainees for taking the opportunity to gain new skills to help set them up in their chosen industry.

“You’re walking away with much more than a piece of paper today,” Senator Thistlethwaite said.

“Your award is a symbol of your hard work and talent. It is a stepping stone to a rewarding career.

“You are an inspiration to your families and communities and everyone in this room.”

Ms Collins said Indigenous employment was an issue the Government is addressing in the long term.

“It is critical that Indigenous Australians have the support and training they need to take up employment,” Ms Collins said.

“Over the next four years the Government has also committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program.

“This is part of the Government’s target to create more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.

“I look forward to working with key stakeholders, such as Aboriginal Employment Strategy, in my new role as Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development.”

For more information about the Indigenous Employment Program, visit