The opportunity to work on HEART, a 12 week pilot employment training program for Yolngu men and women from Homeland communities in north-east Arnhem Land was incredible. Working with families, the participants, Traditional Owners, Elders, employers and along the way, a growing number of supporters, was humbling, exciting and so very different.
Recruitment can be a complex task for an organisation. For those looking for work or training opportunities, it can feel daunting, even stressful. If your first language is not English, or you haven’t been in the workforce before, those challenges are even greater. Discovery turns this on its head.
I knew a little about the growth and diversity of Men’s Sheds but visiting one gave me a whole new perspective. An invitation to the Adelong Men’s Shed, a member of the Australian Association of Men’s Sheds, was not to be missed.
Establishing a market to sell, swap and showcase the produce grown by the Canterbury Public School (CPS) students in Sydney’s inner west made sense. It made even more sense after a pilot market to encourage those within the school community – students, parents, carers and teachers – to bring in any surplus home-grown or homemade produce to swap for something else.
On reflection, ‘you should see my nuggets’ was not that much of a surprising welcome to Charters Towers. I had, after all, just come from the quaint and delightful Miner’s Cottage where I was extremely pleased with my purchase for my eldest boy. At 6 he is a keen rock and gem collector. His most recent bounty was from Cobbold Gorge and Forsayth following an adventure on the Savannahlander with his grandmother. Now it was my turn to add to the collection. I was in Charters Towers for the annual Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) conference. This was the second time I had attended. Last year it was in Blackall and along with my boys then 3 and 5, we drove from Sydney to Blackall via Cunnumulla and Charleville for a taste of the outback. For both my boys this has instilled a love for and respect of rural Australia.