A Property blog by Paul Bennion.

Souths Cares, with the support of Deppro, will be rewarding a group of young high achievers this weekend with a trip to the footy accompanied by current Souths Cares Indigenous Programs Co-ordinator and former Rabbitohs fullback Rhys Wesser.South Cares

Proudly supported by ATPSL (Australian Technology Park Sydney), Koori Job Ready manages a construction course and a hospitatlity and training course that both run eight-week training for students and assists them in finding employment.

The program was originally an initiative of the Redfern-Waterloo Authority (RWA) but now sits under the ATPSL umbrella. Since the program began in 2006, more than 850 employment opportunities have been created for Aboriginal men and women with this number set to increase.

Building BBQs and laying footpaths in La Perouse has given Koori Job Ready students the chance to gain essential construction skills whilst connecting and working for the local Indigenous community.

For over two weeks 17 students from the construction course have been working for free at Yarra Bay House as part of a community initiative started this year by Koori Job Ready. Yarra Bay House is used by the La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council and other organisations such as the La Perouse Youth Haven and Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation for community events and activities. The coastal suburb has a large Aboriginal population and the land at Yarra House is a well-known gathering place for local organisations.

Koori Job Ready’s Head Construction Teacher, Clint Cooke, said the students having been learning a lot working down at La Perouse.

“While out at Yarra Bay House the students have been laying two large concrete footpaths, have built two brick BBQ’s on concrete slabs and a brick retaining wall. They have been learning valuable construction skills and are really enjoying building something that can be used by everyone in the community,” Mr Cooke said.

This project is one of several that Job Ready has organised throughout the year. The ATPSL supported program began the important endeavour early this year of giving back to local groups and businesses that have helped them along the way.

The initiative started with students doing some bricklaying at Alexandria Park Community School in February and has continued with work at Redfern’s National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) and the most recent project in La Perouse.

“La Perouse is a significant area for Aboriginal people and for the students to be able to do this work is a great experience for them and for Koori Job Ready,” said Clint.

“It’s always good when programs aimed at helping the Indigenous community can work together and assist each other with their initiatives.”

Koori Job Ready construction course is an eight week program that teaches Aboriginal students the basics in a variety of different trades with the focus on gaining employment on construction sites for graduates. Koori Job Ready also runs a hospitality course that provides training for Aboriginal students to receive their Certificate II in hospitality.

Koori Job Ready has benefits for the community and the construction, catering and IT industries as graduates are equipped with the immediate skills they need to work. Through the eight-week course, students start to build their confidence and start believing that they have a right to a future, with many going on to do apprenticeships and cadetships.

Souths Cares’ John Hutchinson and Rhys Wesser attended the graduation which was held at Yaama Dhiyaan. A total of 23 students received a Certificate II, either in construction or hospitality. Aunty Berryl who facilitates the hospitality was enormously proud of the student’s dedication and commitment of finishing the eight-week course.

As a result of their commitment, Souths Cares has partnered with Deppro to organise box tickets to watch the Rabbitohs vs Knights game on Sunday 8 July. Souths Cares will be hosting the students, and other organisations that assist the program with employment will also be invited.