The Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Foundation Ltd is launching an exciting new social pilot program called the Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant and Evaluation (AWRAE) Training Project which is pushing the boundaries of Indigenous Data Sovereignty and is creating employment and empowerment for Aboriginal women in remote communities.
On the Kimberley’s Gibb River alone, more than 100 researchers are engaged to work on Aboriginal related topics every year with limited employment offered locally – a prime example of what AWRAE aims to change.
The project will be commencing in 2021 with 12-15 Aboriginal women from Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Broome and Derby in the Kimberley region will commence as the second pilot site for the project in 2022 with another 12-15 Aboriginal women recruits. The women recruited will be a mix of school leavers through to job seekers and any women from within the surrounding communities who wish to upskill. The project’s aim is to create employment for women as research and evaluation assistants.
Through working with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) with support from Clear Horizon, the AWRAE training project is co-designed and community led; offering embedded mentoring and support aligned to active work placement research projects and end of training employment.
The project will provide wrap-around support for participants in the form of Indigenous Mentors, Employment Services Providers, training facilities and other key stakeholders, and funding has been secured to provide a training ‘top-up’ wage to all participants over the length of the course.
The participants will implement the skills they learn in planning, data collection and analysis throughout hosted work placements to provide practical on the job experience. Once trained potential clients will be identified for the women within their communities for continued employment opportunities.
AWRAE aims to: increase the availability of meaningful on-country employment opportunities in remote and regional Australia for Indigenous women; Improve the ability for both government and non-government organisations to recruit skilled remote evaluators to gather accurate data and assess the value of their remote programs; Maximise community empowerment and agency in assessment of the value of projects being delivered on-country, according to the principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty; Address the current shortfall of Indigenous evaluators available for conducting culturally appropriate evaluations and; Reduce the occurrence of duplicative and/or poor programs being continued in remote and regional locations.
To date, the project has received support from the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Lotterywest, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Ian Potter Foundation, Telstra Foundation, the Indigenous Land and Sea Council, Equity Trustees, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Horizon Power and the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Communities Grants for Women, along with multiple donations through the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and other anonymous donations.
The AWRAE Training Project team will be in Karratha for community consultation sessions the week of 28 June 2021. If you’re based in or around Karratha and are either: an Aboriginal woman 18 years or over wanting to make change in your community, or are an organisation interested in hosting a trainee or have some research and evaluation projects on which an AWARE trainee can assist, please reach out.
Expressions of interest from Broome/Derby locations are also welcomed.
If you’re interested in the AWRAE Training Project as a potential trainee or as an organisation, please complete the online Expression of Interest form here.
Or get into contact with the ABC Foundation Ltd:
Kate Branson: 0406 611 619 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The ABC Foundation Ltd would like to acknowledge all funders, sponsors, and donors for assisting the AWRAE Training Pilot Project, pushing the boundaries of Indigenous Data Sovereignty for Aboriginal women in remote communities.