In the front line
FINDING jobs for Aboriginal people is one of Tony Perkins' highest priorities, and last week's signing of an agreement with the Enterprise Training Company (ETC) was a huge step forward.
"We need education, we need power in our kids, we need high profile kids, we need our kids in policy roles. No one knows our needs and culture like us," the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation chief executive said.
"What we've experienced is that we don't see very many Aboriginal people in frontline services, be it supermarkets or offices."
Mr Perkins said Aboriginal people were more likely to seek work in 'the backdrop', such as gardening or lawnmowing, and that the reasons for this were ingrained from a young age.
"We have to make sure we bring our kids up to change this, with centres like ETC to help guide them so that we're more visual to all sections of the community," he said.
"Then it will reflect back to the younger generations. There will be pride. That's the role we and our elders must play."
The Memorandum of Understanding between ETC and Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation to help local indigenous people into work through the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) was a step in that direction.
"By working together we will be able to advance the needs of indigenous jobseekers by accessing relevant funding," ETC chief executive George Ilk said.
"This will enable us to provide training, job creation, and community development opportunities.
"There are not necessarily jobs within jobseekers' skill sets, but we'll be able to provide training and upskilling so individuals can access the jobs that are available."