A marine skills course has renewed the prospects of a dozen local Indigenous people who graduated today at Culburra RSL Club.
(min cost $8)
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Some were not present for the ceremony – busy working on fishing trawlers.
The graduates were commended for their dedication, 80 per cent of students enrolled completed the one-year course.
The practical component took place on board the Tribal Warrior, a ship designed for training disadvantaged Australians in maritime qualifications.
Jerrinja Aboriginal Land Council CEO Alfred Wellington was proud to present graduation certificates.
“It’s the first maritime training we’ve had in Jerrinja,” Mr Wellington said.
“It’s significant because the young people involved in this are long-time unemployed.
“They’ve done a lot of training over the years but not a lot of that has led to any opportunities, but this training is linked to a couple of programs we’re running.
“A few of they guys have some work on local trawlers, the credit goes to them for sticking with the course, it’s not an easy course.
“I’m really proud of them.”
Most of them didn’t complete their HSC, making the theory component the most challenging.
But their cultural links to the environment, and rich marine environment nearby made the course the perfect fit for most.
“This is a cultural fit,” Mr Wellington said.
“They fit right into this. Because they’re so comfortable on the water and working together they nailed the safety drills.”
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