22 April 2013

New options for Canberra’s Indigenous youth

| Fifty_Acres
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Overwhelming support has flooded in for a new program which teaches Indigenous leadership skills to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in Canberra.

The Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, based in the nation’s capital, has been inundated with applications by young Indigenous people to join the new ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Leadership Program, which provides fortnightly Indigenous leadership classes to Indigenous youth aged 18 to 30.

The first class of 25 young leaders commences today. AILC staff member and Canberra Raiders star Joel Thompson said the establishment of the program was very satisfying.

“Young Indigenous people have so much to offer and it’s fantastic to be part of a program that can help them realise their potential, and be the best that they can be,” Mr Thompson said.

“Indigenous leadership is critically important if we are to Close the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and this program is a really important starting point.”

The Program has been developed in partnership with the Canberra Raiders and the ACT Government and will be delivered free of charge, with classes running until July.

Fortnightly classes will provide young Indigenous people with an introduction to a wide range of leadership skills, including communication, strategy development and goal setting.

The ACT Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Mr Shane Rattenbury said the strong demand for the new Program by Canberra’s Indigenous young people was a welcome recognition of the importance of leadership.

“Leadership skills are essential to build the capabilities, networks and opportunities open to young Indigenous people and the ACT Government is delighted to support this new program,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“This inaugural class has filled quickly – indicating that young Indigenous people are really hungry for the opportunities that this Program can provide.”

The AILC is Australia’s only national provider of accredited Indigenous leadership training and has changed the lives of more than 1000 Indigenous people since 2001. It is a registered training provider, established as a not-for-profit Indigenous owned company by Indigenous leaders with a goal of improving leadership capabilities in Indigenous communities across Australia.

For more information and interviews, please call Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre CEO Ms Rachelle Towart on: 02 6251 5770 / 0431 772 377 or Tambelin Mueck – tambelin@fiftyacres.com or 0487 174 684 or Jo Scard – jo@fiftyacres.com or 0457 725 953

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