Expo gives Indigenous youth job options 

CDU staff members Sharon Spencer (far left) and Ann Goodwin (far right) are kept busy assisting students at the Alice Springs expo

An expo hosted by Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus and organised by a local jobs organisation has connected local Indigenous youth with career, education and leadership opportunities.

The expo, titled Strong Community, Strong Kids, Strong Futures, was the first of its type organised by local recruitment agency Tangentyere Job Shop, in conjunction with Job Futures and strongly supported by CDU, local recruitment, media, education and government agencies.

It was held on 18 May at CDU’s Desert Lantern Restaurant.

Former “60 Minutes” journalist Jeff McMullin and local Indigenous artist Kerrianne Cox were on hand to inspire and encourage the students. Local media outlet, CAAMA radio, broadcast live during the event.

More than 100 students from the town’s high schools attended the event which connected them with career paths and resources available in central Australia.

Expo attendees included representatives from Newmont Mines, Group Training, Tourism NT, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, the Central Land Council and various government agencies.

CDU Indigenous Liaison Officer, Lorraine St Clair said the event was a success.

“The atmosphere was exciting with so many people attending and was equally beneficial for the students to learn about future opportunities and for organisations to network amongst themselves,” she said.

Tangentyere Job Shop’s operations manager and event organiser, Donna Lemon said it was an opportunity to develop future leaders.

“This town needs young people who are willing to take action and become role models and, hopefully, I’ve provided a positive pathway for them to do this,” she said.

Campus administrator Dianne Underwood said CDU was proud to support local initiatives engaging youth across central Australia.

“Donna acknowledged that this Expo came about after gaining a position in the Women’s Leadership program run through FaHCSIA and one major component of this program was to showcase participants’ leadership skills in coordinating a community event,” she said.

“Our campus is very supportive of events like these that encourage and inspire local youth,” she said.