PeoplePlus Australia is getting ready for the East Coast Passage and Maritime Program, which is all about empowering Indigenous Australians to kick-start an exciting career on the water in Maritime Operations.

Working together with our friends at Tribal Warrior and Babana Aboriginal and after nearly two months of discussions and interviews with possible candidates and selecting the best possible candidates, we now have 10 young men who are all preparing to sail from Sydney to Cairns. During this journey, these men will be gaining Maritime qualifications by completing two industry-specific courses over the period of April to June 2018. These men come from some of the toughest backgrounds and challenges, are about to embark on a life-changing journey – an adventure that will result in jobs.

The East Coast Passage continues the success of twenty years of Tribal Warrior Maritime Training which has seen hundreds of young people find employment in the Maritime Industry, including establishing their own tourism business on Sydney Harbour. We are exploring future employment opportunities with maritime service providers such as Harbour City Ferries and the NRMA’s Manly Fast Ferry.

General Manager Travel at the NRMA, Michael Betteridge said, “The NRMA is passionate about providing world class transport and tourism services to the community; something we share with Tribal Warrior.”

Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation is the only Indigenous Maritime Training Company operating within Australia. Their specialised training programs are all facilitated by qualified Maritime trainers (OTEN).

The courses they will complete are:

• Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand)

• Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Ticket Grade 1 Near Coastal)

As part of preparing these men for their journey, we have had some team building exercises and an introduction to the watercraft that they can expect to be working on upon completion of the training. Before heading to sea the participants will complete a Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand) in Sydney.

After the initial training, the candidates will then head off on the Coral Trekker (photo below), one of the Sydney Harbour Tall Ships which is a 23-metre, square-rigged, wooden tall ship. On board the vessel, they will have hands-on training, learning navigation, radio operation, engine maintenance, teamwork, and boat maintenance.

Coral Trekker

PeoplePlus work proactively with Tribal Warrior and Babana Aboriginal to empower young Indigenous people with training opportunities and pathways that will see them realise their strengths and embrace their place and potential as leaders.

The launch of the East Coast Passage & Maritime Program will commence at the Australian National Maritime Museum on Monday, 16th April at 10.00am, concluding by 12.30pm as they set sail on along the Australian East Coast.

Project Team

PeoplePlus Australia

PeoplePlus is a leading public service provider, supporting thousands of people each year. They do this by running a range of frontline public services covering employment support, training and education, justice, business start-up services and health and wellbeing. PeoplePlus play an active role in their local communities and are dedicated to making a difference.

“Everything we are doing is geared towards a job as an outcome, but we also understand that in order to achieve that we need to understand what the barriers to employment are and overcome them. This program does exactly that, and like others have said – its life-changing.”

Con Kittos: Executive Chairman - PeoplePlus Australia

Tribal Warrior

Tribal Warrior are a not-for-profit community organisation initiated and directed by Aboriginal people with Aboriginal Elders. The Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation was established by concerned Aboriginal people with a view to spread and vitalise Aboriginal culture, and to provide economic and social stability. The Corporation provides quality training for employment skills, and extends everyday practical assistance by distributing food and groceries to struggling families.

“The journey is also about mentoring these young men into knowing their culture and identity at the same time as learning a trade. So, we are skilling them to not only themselves and each other – but the skills needed for a career in maritime.”

Shane Phillips: Chairman & CEO - Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation

Babana Aboriginal

Babana Aboriginal began more than a decade ago as a simple concept to build and empower local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in the inner-city community of Redfern in Sydney. The group was formed at a time when there was little in the way of local support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when it came to social, employment and economic issues

“This is very much about taking charge of our own destinies and creating these sorts of opportunities for our young people to get off the dole and into work which is about changing lives and also showing to every day Australians the value of Indigenous workers.”

Mark Spinks: Chairperson - Babana Aboriginal

Photos: Courtesy of Babana Aboriginal and the Australian National Maritime Museum