Priority 5: Overcome barriers and realise opportunities to completion

Creating additional opportunities for individuals, families, businesses and communities will not, in itself, improve economic participation outcomes. Instead, available opportunities must be well targeted and individuals and businesses need to be supported to overcome relevant barriers that may otherwise prohibit them from fully participating in the economy.

Actions

Increase the economic opportunities available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the resolution of land administration matters and strengthened coordination of capital works projects (Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships).

Support Indigenous communities to deliver learning to drive programs (Department of Transport and Main Roads).

Support Queensland’s public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres to implement initiatives to enhance the digital skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Department of Environment and Science).

Continue to manage the Employment and Education Housing Program to remove housing as a barrier to employment (Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy).

Case study: NRL Cowboys House – Boys and Girls Campus

NRL Cowboys House, an initiative of the Queensland and Australian Governments in partnership with Cowboys Community Foundation, providing supported accommodation at the Boys’ Campus and Girls’ Campus for 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men and women from remote communities.

Living on campus enables the young men and women to access secondary schools in Townsville while living in a safe, supported and stable environment. They are able to focus on education, training and employment outcomes that will help them achieve bright futures.

NRL Cowboys House provides wrap around support services delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of dedicated professionals, community members, volunteers, school partners and health workers.
One example of the kind of opportunities the students are able to participate in through the program is described here.

Jonah* was chosen as one of sixty students from six schools to attend the ATSIMS: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Marine Science Camp on Orpheus Island.

On completion of the camp, Jonah was awarded the most prestigious Award at the Camp, being the Most Outstanding Achievement Award.

Following this achievement, Jonah has been offered the opportunity to undertake work experience, including specific marine research. One Leader said, ’Lucky for me, he’s not yet old enough because he could take my job!’

Jonah was also chosen to participate in the Bangarra Dance Group performance at Jezzaine Barracks. Bangarra is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed nationally and around the world for their powerful dance, music and design.

Jonah has also been asked to attend the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair as a part of the Cultural Arts Program he is undertaking in Year 10.

Another Leader said, ‘Jonah has 100 per cent attendance at school, with only one day explained absence’. Jonah received an A for Science and a number of Bs in his last report and assures me he will have more As than Bs this term’. 

*Not his real name.

This case study was provided by the former Department of Housing and Public Works.