Territory Alliance wins at NLC Indigenous Employment Awards
23rd October 2010
The Indigenous Housing program has provided not only desperately needed houses for Indigenous people, but also real job opportunities, Chief Minister Paul Henderson said on Friday night at the NLC Indigenous Employer Excellence Awards.
Territory Alliance, one of two alliances delivering the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) won several awards. Territory Alliance, a consortium of companies headed by Sitzler Pty Ltd, Laing O’Rourke and McMahon Services, won Top Employer Award and Top Project Award, while SIHIP won the Chairman’s award.
The alliance also came second in the Projects category of Skills and Career Advancement, while Tiwi Islands Package Manager Phil Clark won a special mention and was a finalist in the Top Individual category and Bob Cush, who set up Territory Alliance’s employment and workforce development team, received a special mention.
Territory Alliance currently employs 160 Aboriginal staff on the Tiwi Islands, Maningrida, Warruwi, Galiwin’ku, Groote Eylandt, Acacia, Belyuen, Gunbalanya and the Alice Springs Town Camps, which is expected to increase to 300 after Christmas as work picks up.
Many of these workers are completing traineeships and studying for various certificate level qualifications in construction, carpentry or other building related trades.
“Last month was particularly pleasing, with 14 people completing their Certificate II in Construction on the Tiwi Islands and eight of them signing on to do their Certificate III,” Alliance Manager Allan McGill said.
“We are helping to train carpenters, plumbers and other tradespeople who will be able to work in their own communities in future,” Mr McGill said.
Territory Alliance’s work delivering better housing to Aboriginal communities and jobs and training opportunities for local people through SIHIP was recognised as “making a real difference” and showing “outstanding initiative and commitment in engagement with Indigenous people”.
Mr McGill said Territory Alliance was thrilled to receive the awards and grateful the team’s hard work and dedication had been celebrated by the NLC .
“We couldn’t achieve our goals without close partnerships with Aboriginal land councils and traditional owners. Together with an emphasis on community engagement, the strength of these partnerships has ensured the success of our work right across Northern and Central Australia,” Mr McGill said.
‘We’ve all worked together to deliver a new approach to recruiting, training and employing Aboriginal people through the SIHIP project. It’s a long‐term focus that offers Aboriginal people accredited training, real jobs and genuine hope for the future.”
Mr McGill said the Alliance’s Employment, Workforce and Development team had developed an innovative training model that was perfectly suited to the unique needs and circumstances of Aboriginal people.
One of the Alliance’s high‐achieving project managers, Phil Clark, was recognised for his outstanding initiative and commitment working with Indigenous people on the Tiwi Islands for outstanding leadership. Phil was a finalist in the Top Individual category and was awarded a Special Mention. Phil, who has lived in Darwin for more than 20 years, said one of his proudest achievements since starting at Nguiu in August 2009 was seeing 16 local people gain their Certificate III in Carpentry.
“Communication and developing mutual trust with local people is everything – we just have to listen and put the time and effort into understanding what’s going on in their lives,” Phil said.
Territory Alliance’s Tiwi Island project has consistently more than doubled its Indigenous workforce target, maintaining local participation at over 40 percent for most of its time on the island.
“It’s really great to break the mould and see these guys proving to themselves and everyone else that they can be skilled and get real jobs like everyone else. There’s no doubt we have a lot of challenges to overcome but what I do is to help our Indigenous employees