Pathway grows for NT education 


A successful education mentoring program helping Indigenous people define their study pathways will be expanded across the Northern Territory.

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Planning Futures Directions Program introduced in 2005 has provided holistic individual and community-based training assessments to more than 3000 Indigenous people across 64 communities.

The program is based upon an introductory vocational training unit that takes into account the many cultural and resource challenges of learning in regional and remote communities.

It goes beyond traditional audits by responding to the cultural, social and logistical challenges of training and education.

Senior VET Advisor for remote projects, Bronte Cooper said the program gave people the opportunity to develop clear and positive study pathways.

“Many of the communities I work with have responded very well to this audit program because it helps people consider ways to deal with humbug, lack of transport and cultural complexities,” he said.

“That often puts people off making those first steps to participating in training.”

The program was developed after extensive consultation with individuals and their community leaders, and produces easy-to-follow training plans for all involved, including participants, leaders and lecturers.

Many communities have already used the data to co-ordinate programs with the university.

Each student’s literacy and numeracy levels is benchmarked against the Federal Government’s National Reporting System, and used to personalise training programs.

Mr Cooper said the second phase of the program would include easier to use documentation.

“It’s about developing a clear and easy-to-follow action plan that helps people through perceived barriers by giving them very clear pathways towards their career and training goals,” he said.

CDU is the major supplier of training across the Northern Territory for more than 14,000 people in vocational studies. Around half of those are Indigenous.