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Jobs and training on Country making a big impact in 2022

Giovanni Torre -

More than 3,000 Indigenous people have gained employment or participated in training courses over a 12-month period through Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation programs and projects.

The employment and training figures have been celebrated by the ILSC and have been welcomed by Jawan Madden, first year Station Hand at Roebuck Plains Station.

Mr Madden is finishing his first year at Roebuck Plains Station after completing the Nyamba Buru Yawuru's (NBY) Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work) Agriculture Pre-Employment program.

Roebuck Plains Station, located at Gumaranganyjal, covers more than 276,000 hectares and currently employs 12 Indigenous people.

"It's good to hear there are more people getting work on Country and working on their land," said Mr Madden.

"I have a few cousins that I work with on the station. There is a sense of feeling of the family around the station which is good because you don't get home sick.

"Working with my cousins gives me a bit of motivation – the boys keep you on your toes."

"It's good working on the station – it's very hard work," he said.

"We wake up around 5am. You get yourself ready, have a shower, chuck the boots on, have some breakfast – and then we take off from the homestead around 5.30am or 6am.

"I love it. I really enjoy riding the horse because it keeps my mind off stuff." Jawan has faced his own challenges in 2022 – fracturing his spine in three different places, but that won't keep him off the horse.

"I went for my first ride in four months around three or four weeks ago and it was an 8-hour ride on the first day back."

Following a successful 2022 on the station, Mr Madden has his sights focused on 2023 with a number of aspirations for himself.

"My work on the station has created opportunities and opened lots of doors," he said.

"People are offering me jobs in town. I was referred to an Aboriginal mentoring role which I might take up next year. If not, I will go back to the station because I was offered a second year."

Mr Madden will be using the wet season to contemplate the next steps of his career while also spending time out bush with his family.

"I like going bush with my family, you know, hunting, spearing, fishing – making spears. It's the best fishing out this way."

Jawan Madden.

ILSC Group chief executive Joe Morrison said Mr Madden's story demonstrates the significance and successes of handing Country back to Indigenous people to own and manage.

"Jawan's story is profoundly inspiring and highlights the ILSC's fundamental focus of returning Country to Indigenous people so they can realise the social, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits of owning and managing Country," said Mr Morrison.

"These benefits include job creation opportunities for Indigenous people and I'm delighted that the ILSC has directly delivered or enabled employment for so many Indigenous people this year."

Mr Morrison stressed the importance of education and preparation for the workforce through training programs for Indigenous people.

"We know that education can provide a range of benefits to an individual and their community, and that's why we're pleased to have hosted close to 200 trainees across the ILSC Group over a 12-month period," he said.

"We were also pleased to hear that almost 1100 training courses were completed by Indigenous people through the ILSC's project work.

"It's great to finish the year knowing that so many Indigenous people have used 2022 as the year to learn new skills and further their careers on Country."

The ILSC Group has directly delivered or enabled employment for more than 1,150 Indigenous people in Financial Year 2021-2022. 1,099 training courses have been completed by Indigenous people enabled through ILSC projects during this period.

In total, 2,092 Indigenous people participated in training and other learning activities in Financial Year 2021-2022.

Roebuck Plains Station is owned by Yawuru Traditional Owners through their corporation, NBY.

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