Indigenous tradesmen in the pipeline 

Jimmy Brown, Ziras Billy, Ray Simpson, Kevin Portaminni, Wesley Miler and Thomas Puautjimi celebrate graduation day.

An opportunity to take a group of Indigenous secondary students under his wing was an experience which plumbing lecturer, Ray Simpson has found was one of his most rewarding.

The five year 10 students were a part of a larger group of 16 from Marrara Christian College (MCC) which recently spent a week of work experience at Charles Darwin University.

The Indigenous Work Experience program, coordinated through the University’s People Management and Development department, provides an opportunity for Indigenous students to sample the workplace and gain valuable employment experience.

Kevin Portaminni, Jimmy Brown, Thomas Puautjimi, Ziras Billy and Wesley Miler choose to join Ray and fellow plumbing lecturer, Peter Rintel in their department to learn about the trade and career opportunities.

“I really think the guys had a good time and really got something out of their placement,” he said.

“One of the projects Peter and myself asked the group to complete was the construction of tool caddies which I hope they’ll use in the years to come.

“Thomas wants to be a builder, Ziras a stockman and Kevin definitely wants to do a trade of some sort when he finishes school and I wish them all the best of luck.”

Other students performed work in the University’s various vocations from Administration, Art, Metal Trades, Aquaculture and Printing.  They also toured other areas of the University to create an awareness of different career and job prospects available through VET and higher education.

Administration Leader with School of Education, Liz Lycett once again wowed students with her usual flair for making the mundane seem fun.

On completion of the program the students celebrated with a lunch and were awarded certificates of participation from Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Professor Steven Larkin.

MCC teacher, Tom Leach was most impressed by the dedication shown by University staff to ensure the students experience at CDU was one to remember.