CDU program gives confidence in the classroom 

Lecturers Derek McPadden (far left) and Laisa Whippy (far right) with their students

Indigenous students at Charles Darwin University’s Tennant Creek centre are moving closer to finding meaningful work through programs aimed at boosting their confidence and core skills.

A total of 23 students have been awarded certificates of progress for their outstanding achievements in two training programs.

All are enrolled in either a nationally accredited Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLNP) Program or a pre-cursor introductory program.

The LLNP program was created by the Federal Government as an intensive program to give students skills to help them function in society.

The program’s “hands on” approach and national accreditation made it a convincing choice for Centre Leader Kate Young.

“There is a generation of Indigenous people who felt ostracised within the school system as youngsters and this course allows them to regain their confidence through success in the classroom,” she said.

Local lecturer Laisa Whippy, herself a Fijian indigenous woman, delivers the pre-LLNP program, with students then moving on to the more intensive LLNP program, delivered by lecturer Derek McPadden.

With the backing of local community groups and businesses, 35 students are enrolled in the pre-LLNP program and another 20 are undertaking the LLNP program.

Kate said the ceremony was an opportunity for the students to show others their achievements.

It recognised the 10 students who had completed the first 160-hour block of the LLNP program as well as those who had completed individual units of competency in the pre-LLNP class.

“Many of these students are determined to show their family and friends that they can learn, move on to paid work and get ahead,” she said.

“They’re clearly motivated, and we are giving them core skills and confidence to achieve and this gives us great satisfaction.”