We’re excited to announce the commencement of training with a pre-engagement week from 27th – 29th July for the first cohort of 15 women in Karratha, with the theoretical training having commenced on 3 August 2021.
The pilot project saw the recruitment of two local Aboriginal women, Jane Tittums and Natasha Hunter, to deliver the co-facilitation and mentoring on the ground. The full project team delivering the project in Karratha is listed below, with leadership provided by both the ABC Foundation and Clear Horizon teams:
- Indigenous Co-Facilitator: Jane Tittums
- Indigenous Mentor: Natasha Hunter
- Clear Horizon Academy Trainer: Lauren Siegmann
- Project Manager: Kate Branson
May 2021 saw ABCFL Chief Executive Officer, Alison Sentance, make the call to move one of the initial proposed sites from Carnarvon, WA to Karratha, WA due to on-going impacts which resulted in low numbers of participants. In addition, during the planning process it was identified mobilising two sites at once proved nearly impossible to coordinate. Each community have their own complex needs which meant there were individual impacts and delays that we needed to manage i.e., Sorry Business, Remote Community Access, and participant impacts. To further mitigate this risk – it was decided to deliver to one community at a time and condense the training to six months, starting in Karratha and then moving it to Broome/Derby. This also ensures we can learn from and adapt any issues which are identified in Karratha, allowing for improvements to the project to be made in preparation for the second pilot site.
Coinciding these moves, the strategy around recruitment was also adapted to assist higher recruitment and retention. The initial recruitment strategy aimed to work with Employment Services directly and long-term job seekers, however this was proving difficult across all sites. The non-compliance standard enforced by NIAA in 2020 due to COVID-19 meant activity was no longer a requirement. The non-compliance standard has since been changed permanently and as such we adjusted the recruitment strategy.
The move from Carnarvon to Karratha allowed for the core cohort of participants to be made up of employees and students, therefore reducing the reliance on employment services and extending the reach of participant pools. As the Broome and Derby sites won’t commence until 2022, we are working with local employment services during this period around the new non-compliance laws to ensure we have extra safeholds in place to help job seeker participants complete the course. In addition, we will be targeting recruits through organisations and education institutes as per Karratha.
We have several core staff and Aboriginal Directors living in Karratha that have been able to ensure the project success on the ground to date. Secondly, we were able to identify a local Aboriginal Co-Faciliator, Jane Tittums, along with a mentor, Natasha Hunter, who have been engaged to support the Clear Horizon Academy trainer, Lauren Siegmann, to deliver the training remotely, thus mitigating the risk of future delays to the start of the pilot.
Finally, the Pilot Project will be evaluated in and of itself. Additionally, it has been identified that Evaluation Mentors are to be engaged to assist trainees during their employment and/or consulting projects. To achieve this we have started discussions, with Circa Research, a leading Indigenous research centre, to provide the independent evaluation at the end of the pilot program.
We are already seeing impacts on the women participating due to the design of the program and the women engaged to support and assist trainees. One woman, on arrival to the engagement week workshop, was very quiet and timid. By the end of the day, she was offering up opinions without being asked and provided the project team with a post-it note on how the day made her feel: empowered, increased self-esteem, encouraged and communicated with. We hope to continue seeing results like these throughout the course and will keep you updated at key stages throughout the course.
If you have any questions please contact Kate Branson, AWRAE Project Manager, on 0406 611 619 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org