Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting young people into jobs on Mornington Island and Doomadgee

Young Aboriginal people on Mornington Island and in Doomadgee will have access to two new youth hubs which will operate as support and training facilities, thanks to an Australian Government grant of $2.5 million.

Visiting Mornington Island today, the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the hubs would be purpose built to accommodate youth activities focused on leadership, training and education, and work readiness.

The new hubs will provide a safe space for young people to gather, as well as operating as drop in centres for those who need support in times of crisis or access to health and financial services.

The hubs will have consulting and meeting rooms for visiting or outreach services, multi-media equipment and site-managers’ accommodation.

“We need to improve the training facilities and support services for young Aboriginal people in Doomadgee and on Mornington Island to ensure they have the best chance to get a job,” Ms Macklin said.

“Given that Mornington Island and Doomadgee schools finish at year ten, we have to boost vocational training in the communities to ensure local young people stay connected to education.

“These new hubs will be important community facilities that will help build education and employment pathways for young Aboriginal people, as well as providing support services in times of crisis.”

The hubs will also include multi-media facilities so people can be trained in media production, participate in the community radio station, print media, video and web-based technology.

“The young people in Doomadgee and on Mornington Island have told us that they want their voices heard. This provides them with a platform for this as well as training in media production,” Ms Macklin said.

The hubs will be overseen by managers who will have permanent accommodation on-site.

To provide additional employment opportunities on Mornington Island for young people, the Government, in partnership with the Mornington Shire Council, has invested $1.9 million to build a new eight unit motel.

The motel will provide accommodation for people visiting the community and service providers from Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns.

“With the motel nearly finished, we want to see as many young people as possible filling the staff positions in the motel,” Ms Macklin said.

“This is a good example of a community-driven initiative that will provide employment for people on Mornington Island.”

The Australian Government recently announced significant changes to remote employment and community development services to help more people get jobs and participate in their community.

From 1 July 2013, the new $1.5 billion Remote Jobs and Communities Program will provide a more integrated and flexible approach to employment and participation services for people living in remote areas of Australia.

As part of this new program, the Government will support community projects through a $240 million Community Development Fund.

“A job contributes strongly to personal, social and economic development and is essential for closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.”