Mowanjum Workshop Attendees, Mowanjum Community via Derby WA
Aboriginal women's research Assistant and evaluation training project - (AWRAE)
ABC Foundation’s social program AWRAE pushes the boundaries of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, creating employment and empowerment for Aboriginal women in remote communities.
The training model was designed to be culturally secure and hands-on with embedded mentoring and support, and goes beyond a ‘standard’ training model: once women have learnt the skills of planning, data collection and analysis, they work on and are mentored through contract evaluations (work placement).
The business model calls for three types of client engagement:
- one-off evaluations (NGOs, government);
- ongoing evaluations (six monthly surveys of NGO clients) and
- whole-of-community evaluations.
The AWRAE Pilot
The 2021 AWRAE pilot saw six Aboriginal women from Karratha graduate from the program. The women enjoyed wrap around support from ABCFL Indigenous Mentors (Field Officers); Employment Services Providers and other key stakeholders. They were paid for the duration of their training and are now either participating in local work placements within their communities, working as consultants or running their own businesses with the support of their ABCFL Mentor.
The AWRAE Program
- Increases availability of meaningful on-country employment opportunities for Indigenous women in remote and regional Australia
- Improves 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
- Maximises community empowerment and agency in assessment of the value of projects being delivered on country, according to the principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty
- Addresses the current shortfall of Indigenous evaluators available for conducting culturally appropriate evaluations
- Reduces the occurrence of duplicative and/or poor programs being continued in remote and regional locations
"It is impressive. It not only could serve as a tool to measure how services or research are impacting on marginalised groups, but it is a great example of Indigenous data sovereignty which is a very powerful movement to get First Nations people to take control of their own data; it's collection, analysis and interpretation.
When this happens effective change for good happens in communities and groups." Fiona Stanley
Outcomes, benefits and projections
- By 30 June 2021: Identified and recruited 10 Women in Karratha, for delivery of first pilot site.
- By December 2021: Work placements with prospective employers were sourced for women to continue their training within a work environment.
- By March 2022: 6 of the 10 Women graduated the program, with two finding suitable employment and two trainees taking on paid evaluation work.
- By June 2022: Additional site(s) will be identified, with 10-14 trainees enrolled to commence in the July 2022 or Feb 2023 intake. With the ABCFL team continuing to work with the Alumni students sourcing employment and business opportunities.
- By February 2023: The program generates enough interest to attract full funding for years 3-6. With a focus on new site roll out, employment and social enterprise development.
- By June 2023: 4 community evaluations have been completed.
- By December 2023: Continued funding for the program will provide additional sites with the program expected to expand Nationally by 2024.
- By February 2024: Majority of the graduating women are engaged in evaluation-related careers, suitable employment and/or business, incorporating the new skills learnt.
The benefits gained by the Aboriginal women who have completed the AWRAE training are significant. AWRAE Alumni are able to take up fee for service contracts or careers within the research and evaluation sector across multiple industries (NGO, Government, Corporate) and - with the support of the ABC Foundation - have the opportunity to undertake further tertiary qualifications and/or explore going into business if they choose.
AWRAE Alumni’s household incomes are substantially higher than being on welfare or on minimum wage employment, given that they now have the ability to charge up to 500% more than the minimum wage. As consultants they have the flexibility to work around their family and community commitments, creating a more balanced work/life balance.
Evaluations generally cost 10% of project budgets. AWRAE expects costs for one-off evaluations to range from $20,000 - $50,000 with opportunities for multi-year evaluations through negotiation.
Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation, Derby WA
Interested in applying?
Are you an Aboriginal Female job seeker or have become recently unemployed and wish you could get involved in local community research projects? Then, the Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant and Evaluation Training Project, known as AWRAE, might be right for you!
The ABC Foundation, is currently seeking Aboriginal Women to sign up for our hands-on work-place training leading to employment program.
You can complete our online Expression of Interest Form here, download the physical Expression of Interest form below or contact us today! Get in quickly as spaces are limited.
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.