Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has today congratulated 29 First Australians for completing the Replay Group’s Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care course.
Minister Scullion presented the participants with graduation certificates at a ceremony in Brisbane today and said it was particularly pleasing more than half of them were currently employed in child care centres. All of the graduates were employed for at least seven months in mainstream child care centres as part of their course.
Minister Scullion presented Legends Awards to three previous graduates who have worked continuously or been in further study for at least three years since starting their traineeships with Replay.
“Education is a key to closing the employment gap between First Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. Employment parity exists for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have completed Certificate III training,” Minister Scullion said.
“All of today’s graduates have completed the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care course and are leaders and role models in their communities.
“I congratulate all of them for completing the course and have every confidence they can make a real difference in one of the most important of jobs—making sure children have a safe, positive, supportive learning environment to grow up in.
“I also congratulate the recipients of the Legends Awards for the commitment they have shown to their employment and studies, and the employers for working with Replay to improve the employment outcomes for First Australians.”
Replay supports First Australians to undertake traineeships in child care and aged care leading to Certificate III industry standard qualifications.
Successive Commonwealth governments have provided Replay with $6 million since 2009 to deliver 14 Indigenous employment projects to support 562 job opportunities for First Australians.
“Of these, more than 70 per cent achieved 26-week employment outcomes. This is a great result because we know the vast majority of employees who remain employed for that length of time remain in the workforce,” Minister Scullion said.
Replay Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mary Jones, said it was wonderful to see graduates grabbing career opportunities with both hands from the partnership between the Australian Government, employers and Replay.
“Already they are making an outstanding contribution to the education and care of the children who will determine Australia’s future,” Dr Jones said.
One of the today’s graduates, Katherine Dallachy, said the programme gave her the skills and confidence to leave home in Mackay to take up a position in a child care centre in the remote community of Aurukun in Far North Queensland.
“I love being able to give back to the community and make a difference,” Ms Dallachy said.