Other Aboriginal employment

Earthmoving at the Granites Gold Mine in the Tanami Desert

It’s widely acknowledged that in Central Australia there’s a large, mostly untapped, resource with great potential to meet labour shortages. As many of these potential employees have little or no work experience, the Central Land Council’s employment unit is a vital link between the Aboriginal job seeker and the employer.

In years gone by, older generations of Central Australian Aboriginal people worked a wide range of jobs, often for no pay other than rations, but in the past 30 years, government  neglect of the bush has led to many Aboriginal people lacking the education or skills to get jobs.   

Employment Unit staff help Aboriginal people to take the first steps into full time employment and also provide mentoring support to help people stay in jobs. The staff help prepare job seekers for the rigours and responsibilities of work and provide a number of pre-vocational and vocational training courses..

The unit has negotiated employment for traditional land owners in mining, land management and other commercial land use agreements.

What the CLC’s employment unit does

  • Help people get jobs with contractors who operate on Aboriginal land;
  • Offer mentoring for people setting out to find a job;
  • Help with resumes and CVs;
  • Arranges and pays for medical, drug testing and police checks;
  • Organises careers days;
  • Helps implement agreements that bring job opportunities.

Mining and the CLC’s Employment Unit

The variety of agreements that traditional owners can now make with governments and commercial enterprises is bringing employment opportunities for Aboriginal workers.

An example of such a partnership is an agreement with Newmont Australia at the Granites Mine in the Tanami Desert where more than 100 Aboriginal people are employed out of a workforce of 500 people. The employment unit has worked closely with Newmont on pre-employment courses leading to all participants of the courses being offered full-time positions or traineeships at the Granites gold mine.

Ongoing mentoring and other support have been provided for people in the pre-employment course. The unit has helped Aboriginal people in Central Australia move into boiler maker, light diesel fitter, mechanical and electrician apprenticeships.

Joint Management and ranger work

The employment unit is working with the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park on employment selection panels and has collaborated in the implementation of Flexible Employment Programs through the NT government’s Joint Management initiative for short-term park-related work opportunities for traditional owners and community ranger groups.

More than 70 people have been placed into 55 projects across the 20 national parks subject to new joint management arrangements in the southern region of the Northern Territory. The work has helped develop skills in fencing, fire control, fauna surveys, infrastructure placement, walking track repairs, weed control and weed surveys.

The CLC’s employment unit assists with the recruitment of the CLC rangers and provides ongoing mentoring after they’ve been appointed to their positions. The mentoring includes assisting the rangers to settle into their jobs by helping them understand the roles they’ve taken on and the demands and responsibilities required of them.

Employment in the pastoral industry

A memorandum of understanding between the Central Land Council, the pastoral industry and the Northern Territory Government has helped establish training programs for Aboriginal people wanting to work within the industry. One of the most popular training courses is horsemanship training where participants learn a range of horse handling and care skills that put them in good stead for work with stock on pastoral stations.

The CLC has helped negotiate agreements between pastoralists and traditional owners for the leasing of Aboriginal land for pastoral activities. Under the agreements, pastoralists get to lease the Aboriginal land and can add infrastructure to it such as fencing and bores. Lessees are encouraged to employ Aboriginal workers.

The CLC Employment Unit is funded by the Aboriginal Benefits Account.