Angurugu teamworkOn October 19, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
The Angurugu Tigers are in training for the
game of their life: this week’s grand final. Easy no pressure
And for Basil, the captain, winning is all about teamwork on and off the field.
Talk to one another work as a team, do things together, keep us motivated. If you don’t
have a team then you don’t have any chance of winning. If you have a team you’ll get
further in life. Basil and his mates live in Angurugu on Groote
Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in South East Arnhem Land.
Here mining royalties are creating new employment opportunities for Basil and his mates.
We’ve got a maintenance program here doing a little bit of concreting so we’ve probably
got some doors and arches something to do. Work that’s taken these guys from CDEP wages,
to full time training, regular employment, a weekly pay check and a sustainable future.
I’m learning to drive this small dozer. It takes a lot of concentration to learn to drive
this truck. And working together here, learning new skills is good.
This is a lot different to CDEP. The boys are really thriving at their work. It’s outstanding
how quickly the boys can pick it up. And once they find something they like they really
thrive on it, you know. It’s changing things slowly.
A vision for full time employment for young and old in the community, that began as a
local initiative. When young people start work they were in
a lower wage, and so we were thinking about that, and met with some staff and the council
and we trained our people. Now we are training young people. It’s their choice and everything
is now changing. Changes instigated at a community level and
supported by the local council. We actually funded decision within the community.
What happened [was] the council wanted to have meaningful employment. We had royalties
money, so to speak, so we just self funded. With the council on side, the dream became
a reality that was embraced by the local school, leading to information events like this careers
expo. Basically the GEBIE (Groote Eylandt and Bickerton
Island Enterprises (GEBIE) Job Shop is a network provider for the island and we’re here today
to promote the education and employment opportunities that we have to offer. We do fish patrol and look after land.
When I see all these people, I say This is your appointment, it’s for job and training,
what do you reckon, will you think about it? It’s your choice.
A community employment initiative using CDEP and local funding to create a 21st century
vision that trains and employs Indigenous construction workers to build a sustainable
future in Angurugu. Well, we found paid employment for these guys.
They’re off benefit, proud of what they do and they’re respected in the community because
they do come to work everyday. They’ve got sustainable employment with the opportunity
to pick up skills, with a view to performing duties at community level when all the whitefellas
are gone. Basil is a very good inspiration for a lot
of the people on Groote Eylandt, especially within the Indigenous communities. He’s a
fantastic success story like many others, but Basil really is a shining star.
This local footy hero has become a role model to these kids in more ways than one.
This is a good job. Lots of kind people, working together and earning good money – my own money.
We fix everything in the bathroom, the walls, the roof.
How long before we can begin working? By then, Basil might be running the whole
place. It’s a key message of change for the future
delivered by an inspired group of young men. It’s good to get out of CDEP and get into
a decent job earning decent money. And it’s working, because the mentors are
community elders who realise how important this change is.
Good work. It’s really good for the young ones to get on and build a better life.
A life that also includes regular time out – a reward after a hard day’s work.
It’s important – if you don’t have the communication, the friendship, it’s hard, it sort of feels
lonely, really. Being part of a team just makes it better.
Cheers! This team effort has earned Basil and the
Tigers a place in the local grand final. A long-term commitment that today will pay
dividends in more ways than one. Yeah the teamwork is switching on. Yeah, I
think we have got this game.