Local Aboriginal high school students have their sights set on a bright future, through early access to the construction workforce under the Diz Footprints empowerment program. Established to facilitate the education and enrichment of Aboriginal lives, in particular youth, the program enables the enhancement of career pathways in the building and construction industries.
The initiative has given five Year 10 students from various Campbelltown high schools the opportunity to invest in their local community and receive world class training with a top tier construction firm – CPB Contractors – as they help to build their new hospital. Once their traineeships are complete, the students will have secured a Certificate 2 in Construction and a wealth of valuable practical experience.
Campbelltown Hospital General Manager Alison Derrett said it was an honour for the hospital to support the Diz Footprints program.
“The work that this program is doing to help uplift the lives of our Aboriginal youth locally is something to be applauded,” she said.
“This is the first time our health district has had the opportunity to support a program such as Diz Footprints and I am so proud that it is through the redevelopment of Campbelltown Hospital.
“These young locals should be proud of the contribution they are making and their role in representing their community through such an esteemed project.”
Diz Footprints project director Doug Delaney said the project would not be what is was without the backing and support of the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and CPB Contractors who offered the paid traineeships and have provided a cohesive and supportive learning environment.
“For too long we have seen Aboriginal kids struggle with the theoretical component of their qualifications,” he said.
“Diz Footprints provides an opportunity to help them improve their chances of completing their apprenticeships by increasing their literacy and numeracy levels in conjunction with Aboriginal cultural values.
“Our ultimate aim is to improve the education and employment pathways for Aboriginal youth, improve their health and wellbeing and address the serious disadvantage that currently exists between Aboriginal youth and their counterparts.”
Mr Delaney’s program is currently overseeing three groups, each consisting of five Aboriginal high school trainees through their partnership with CPB Contractors at the Campbelltown and Nepean Hospital redevelopment sites.