Release type: Media Release


36 New Indigenous Health Workers in Riverina


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

Up to 36 Indigenous Australians across the Riverina are receiving jobs and training in the health services industry thanks to the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment program.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib said Indigenous jobseekers in the Riverina involved in the Primary Health Care Training Project would soon be in demand as allied health workers.

“Participants will receive nationally accredited qualifications and complete the program with a Certificate II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care - Nursing, Aged Care or Welfare,” Senator Arbib said.

“The course was created to address the shortage of qualified Indigenous health and allied health workers in the industry and will be delivered by Riverina TAFE.

“By the end of September 2011 participants will have the necessary qualifications for a career path into the Greater Southern Area Health Service in a diverse range of areas.” Senator Arbib said the program was possible due to $276,000 from the Indigenous Employment Program and that courses were being run in Wagga Wagga, Leeton, Narrandera and Griffith.

“This is a fantastic program for Indigenous jobseekers living in Riverina and is another example of the Gillard Government working to address skills shortages,” Senator Arbib said.

“This is not just training for training’s sake - this program will result in long-term job opportunities for the participants.”

Senator Arbib said Federal Treasury has estimated that 500,000 jobs would be created over the next two years and it was critical that Indigenous Australians had the support and training they needed to take up employment opportunities.

“Indigenous employment is not a short-term issue. Over the next four years the Australian Government has committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program and $50 million to the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program,” Senator Arbib said.

“This is part of the Australian Government’s goal to help Indigenous students find a job or move into further study and create more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”