Training young people to look after their own community as part of their livelihood is a top priority for CDU’s new Alice Springs-based coordinator in Science and Primary Industries, Collins Gipey.
Collins brings expertise in the delivery of culturally appropriate water management programs to Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
His previous role involved coordinating research at Ti-Tree community developing culturally appropriate water management strategies for research partners including CDU, Central Land Council, and Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre.
A major component of this work involved transferring culturally appropriate skills to young Aboriginal men so they could manage groundwater resources effectively within their Anmatjere Country, which encompasses the Ti-Tree groundwater basin.
Collins will coordinate vocational training in groundwater management, horticulture and agricultural sciences to communities across Central Australia.
‘These areas are all important to help Indigenous people look after their country and livelihood,’ he said.
The withdrawal of CDEP (subsidised employment program within Indigenous communities) has inspired Collins to continue his work empowering communities towards self-sufficiency.
‘It has always been important for me to see vocational and, importantly, life skills helping people, and to see them making a living in their community from real jobs is incredibly satisfying,’ he said.