Bara Barang receives over $300,000 to support training and employment

The Bara Barang Corporation, based in Gosford, is one of several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups to benefit from almost $3.4M in State Government grants announced on July 7.

Meaning “make tomorrow” in the Darkinjung language, Bara Barang shares the wisdom, spirituality and customs of Aboriginal people through innovative cultural, employment, training and career pathway programs.

It will receive $225,000 in the current financial year, to add to $85,000 received earlier this year through the Barrabggirra Aboriginal Skilling for Employment program.

Manager of Community Services, Chris Thew, said the money would be put to good use in improving outcomes and completion rates for up to 200 young people being mentored under the organisation’s careers pathways programs.

“Our aim is to provide culturally safe wrap-around support for these young people,” Thew said.

“We have around a 53 per cent employment rate among our young people – which means almost one person in two is not succeeding in the apprenticeship/traineeship process.

“We really want to improve career path opportunities by giving these young people a feeling of empowerment and ongoing support.

“With this money we will be able to employ more mentors and hire new staff and improve the resources for training in our cultural inclusion programs.”

Thew said the organisation aimed to improve young people’s lives through positive role modelling.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, said 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations would benefit from grants through the program and the Aboriginal Business Advisory Initiative.

“These grants will encourage growth, support start-ups and provide access to training and jobs for Aboriginal businesses right across the state,” Lee said.

“At the heart of these grants is the aim to strengthen training and employment support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees and empower the businesses that employ them.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Don Harwin, said the grant programs will also help businesses provide end-to-end mentoring and support to Aboriginal trainees and apprentices.

“These grants bolster the NSW Government’s commitment to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and will further support the economic participation and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, people and communities,” Harwin said.

Terry Collins