CDU Alice Springs drives debate with public lecture series 


Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus launched the 2007 Public Lecture Series, as part of its charter of community engagement on 23 March.

The series aims to provide the public with topics, opinions and ideas of interest to the local community.

The first lecture on March 29 at 5pm will be delivered by representatives of employment agency Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) and the ANZ Bank to talk about employment strategies with the bank.

Campus Administrator Dianne Underwood said Charles Darwin University was committed to providing the community with positive outcomes.

‘Indigenous employment and participation in Alice Springs, and in fact the wider community, is being tackled through a number of programs,’ she said. ‘While cultural differences exist between NSW and Central Australia, we are very keen to highlight the remarkable success of the AES.’

The AES was started in Moree in 1997 by cotton farmer Dick Estens, with the support of the cotton industry through the Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers Association. The AES grew out of the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody to establish Aboriginal employment promotion committees nationwide.

Danny Lester, CEO of the AES and presenter said: ‘The AES is about working with Aboriginal people who want to pursue a job. We build self-esteem and pride, we generate peer pressure, stretch a community and get people who want to work going forward.’

Mr Lester will join Dick Estens, CEO of AES and Bruce McQualter, regional manager, regional and rural financial services, ANZ to tell of their experiences and approaches.

‘This is very much an outcome-focussed action plan for local business,’ he said.

Further lectures in the series will cover environmental, economic and social issues.

The lectures will be held in the Higher Education building. Seats are limited and RSVP is essential. Email or call 8959 5442.