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TAFE NSW has partnered with Corrective Services NSW to deliver the first Certificate III in Mentoring for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees.
The Corrections Aboriginal Mentorship Program (CAMP) program is delivered at TAFE NSW Eora and is designed to equip correctional officers within custodial and community settings with the confidence and ability to act as mentors to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to progress their career.
TAFE NSW Educational Pathways Head Teacher, Dallas Wellington, said that Australia’s largest training provider is committed to supporting organisations to engage in education in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and understanding.
“TAFE NSW was approached by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) to customise training for their employees with an Aboriginal culture and experience with a view to developing their skills as mentors,” Mr Wellington said.
“CSNSW employees learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language and culture to promote cultural safety and instil knowledge to equip them with in-demand skills in mentoring so that they can improve their everyday interactions and excel in their personal career ambitions.”
Corrective Services NSW Aboriginal Strategy and Policy Unit project officer Jermaine Haymond said “The success of this program is partly due to the design of the course, but also heavily reliant on the excellent services offered by TAFE Eora’s teachers and support staff, who are invaluable in shaping the students’ experiences.
“CSNSW have also committed to enhancing the participants’ career development internally through further education pathways, shadowing opportunities or higher duties opportunities in specific areas of the department.
“This collaboration between CSNSW and TAFE NSW is a great example of the value of shared vision and effort.”
Michelle Thompson is a correctional officer who works in a small, minimum-security correctional centre and identifies as Aboriginal.
“My family come from the Dandenong ranges in Victoria, but my story is quite broken, so I’m here learning about my identity as an Indigenous person and how to connect with country and other people in the same job,” Ms Thompson said.
“I hope to get out of this course the ability to not only mentor officers but to also provide advice to inmates so they can identify and connect with their culture, and to try and build a support network in our environment.
“So far we’ve learnt to appreciate everyone’s story: everyone’s story is different, everyone’s experience is different, everyone has a different view on their own Aboriginality and their own Indigenous family connections and connection to country.
“The teachers are very stimulating, honest and open and encourage a lot of group participation and personal participation, which is great so I’m really enjoying it.”
TAFE NSW Enterprise offers customised training for your business needs. Visit tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.
Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Sydney Media and Communications Business Partner. M: 0402 528 210