Wednesday August 29, 2007
Australian Red Cross today formally committed itself to supporting more employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Government.
The Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment project encourages a partnership between individual companies and the Australian Government, to generate more jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Australian Red Cross CEO, Mr Robert Tickner signed the MOU today at Red Cross headquarters in Carlton alongside Minister for Workforce Participation Dr Sharman Stone.
'Australian Red Cross is proud to be a part of the Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment Program. Improving work opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is vital, and this program is an excellent vehicle for us to do just that' said Mr Tickner.
With funding from the Australian Government, Red Cross is currently undertaking a STEP (Structured Training and Employment Program) project in Queensland, in which 42 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will get experience across all sectors of the organisation, from working directly with vulnerable people to finance and IT.
The aim is to assist in creating career paths and expanding opportunities for the participants and also includes a mentoring program to provide long-term support.
In South Australia, the STEP program is aiming to recruit and train 12 members of local communities from the remote APY lands to become trainers in their own right. The selected people will become fully qualified Red Cross trainers in First Aid, Good Start Breakfast Club and other programs.
'Australian Red Cross is committed to creating a welcoming environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country and these programs in Queensland and South Australia are the first steps in developing ourselves nationally as a truly culturally inclusive organisation.'
Leann Wilson, Head of Indigenous Strategy and Programs at Australian Red Cross, sees the MOU as crucial in expanding the employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. 'Behavioural change does not work when people observe from afar- this MOU is the first stage in providing tangible opportunities, experiences and benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians at Australian Red Cross.'