Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 01, 2022


South Australian Training Awards

The Hon. T.T. NGO (14:49): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Can the minister update the council on the Aboriginal South Australians who have been recognised in this year's SA Training Awards?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:49): I thank the honourable member for his question and his interest in this area. I would be most pleased to update the council on Aboriginal South Australians and Aboriginal organisations that have been recognised in the training awards.

The South Australian Training Awards are an annual event run by the South Australian government. While the event itself falls within the portfolio responsibilities of my colleague the Minister for Education, Training and Skills, I was pleased to see some fantastic Aboriginal organisations and individuals recognised for their achievements.

Amongst this year's winners were the Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation (RASAC), the winner of the Small Employer of the Year. RASAC is owned and operated by Anangu, providing a range of services to thousands of people across the APY lands. It is the largest employer of local Anangu workers on the APY lands and a major contributor to local economies.

In particular, I am advised that this year's award recognises the work RASAC has undertaken to create a training culture within communities, encouraging people to take part in training opportunities where they may not have previously considered it relevant to them in the past. This has included a close partnership with TAFE SA who, I am advised, worked very closely with RASAC on designing appropriate and adapted programs for use on the APY lands.

Another deserving winner was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Angelina Dunnett. Angelina was provided an opportunity by RASAC to work with the community patrols program, supporting young people and helping to keep children safe. Through this role she was able to undertake a Certificate II and III in Community Services, after which she was promoted to zone coordinator for the patrol program. In addition, she now assists TAFE SA by interpreting training programs into the Pitjantjatjara language, and supports students to engage with training programs. In Angelina's own words:

I live and work in two worlds: Anangu way, and piranpa (white fella way). I'm proud that I'm developing my skills to find the balance to do both.

It is a real achievement to complete training on the APY lands. I want to show my people, my children and other young people that education is important, and we can do it.

Angelina is now a finalist in the national Australian Training Awards, with the finals to be held here in Adelaide on 18 November.

RASAC has also been listed as one of just three finalists in their category for the Australian Training Awards. Both of these awards and nominations reflect some of the important and innovative work being done on the APY lands by and for Aboriginal people.

Whether it's an individual working hard to learn new skills, and deliver for and within their community, or an Aboriginal business working to achieve positive social outcomes, there is much to be proud of with the work that happens on the APY lands and across remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia. I would like to congratulate Angelina and RASAC on being recognised in the South Australian awards, and wish them the best of luck in the upcoming national finals.